CNYO Observers Log: MOST Climate Day And North Sportsman’s Club Practice Session, 19 April 2014

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

The Saturday after NEAF was a busy one for CNYO members, including a lecture and observing session for the MOST Climate Day during the afternoon and a nighttime “dry run” for the North Sportman’s Club Public Viewing Sessions we’re on the verge of hosting for the rest of the year.

The morning started with a hectic rearrangement of speakers for the TACNY Jr. Cafe session, with Prof. Peter Plumley (MOST, Syracuse University) and Prof. Timothy Volk (SUNY-ESF) admirably filling in for a missing speaker (and the crowd requests for future topics were heavy in astronomy!). And speaking of Jr. Cafe astronomy, we note the May 17th lecture features CNYO’s own Ryan Goodson speaking on Newtonian Telescopes (with a solar session to follow if the skies hold)!

The indoor part of CNYO’s contribution to the MOST Climate Day featured myself and a lecture about the Sun/Earth relationship. While that lecture was given to only 2.5 people (one person left half-way), a 50 minute talk extended to 90 minutes thanks to some excellent discussions and deeper probing of some of the slide content.

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Larry and observers on the Creekwalk. Click for a larger view.

Outside, Larry Slosberg hit the public observing jackpot with his 12″ Baader-ized New Moon Telescope Dob and NASA Night Sky Network Solar Kit. Between the MOST crowd, Record Store Day at Sound Garden, and a Creekwalk made busy by the clear skies and comfortable temperatures, Larry counted over a few dozen new observers before I even made it outside. To Larry’s solar collection I added a Coronado PST for some excellent H-alpha views of sunspots and several prominences that changed significantly over the course of an hour (which was made all the more impressive to passers-by when you mention that these changes could be measured in units of “Earths” instead of miles).

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An intrepid observer at the Coronado PST. Click for a larger view.

Larry and I packed up around 4:00 p.m. after giving nearly 40 people a unique view of our nearest star, providing a three-hour window before heading off to North Sportsman’s Club (NSC) for an evening session.

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Some of the NSC crew setting up. Click for a larger view.

We also used April 19th as a reintroduction to the skies above the NSC, with this session opened up to a short-list of people with scopes interested in helping reduce the lengths of observing lines at future public sessions (and we welcome others interested in bringing their scopes to these sessions to please contact us using our online form or by emailing us at info@cnyo.org).

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The Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and surroundings. Click for a larger view.

The total in attendance was between 10 and 12 over the two hours I was present (and the event continued for some time after), with about half as many scopes present (which is a great number for even large public viewing sessions). Despite it becoming a very cold evening, the combined observing list was extensive from among all parties, with New Moon Telescope’s 27″ Dob making many views extra memorable.

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The view to the Southwest (featuring a bright Jupiter near center). Click for a larger view.

We are planning our first public session for 2014 in late May, perhaps to coincide with the predicted meteor super-storm on the early morning of May 24th. Keep track of cnyo.org or our Facebook group page for details!

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