CNYO Observing Log: Two Solar Highlights – International SUN-Day And A Space Science Morning At The MOST

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

A post to the CNYO Facebook Page by Pamela Shivak of International SUN-Day and the equally great Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project about the 2015 Int. SUN-Day reminded me that the CNYO event for 22 June 2014 hadn’t been posted yet. Ergo…

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Dave Wormuth and passers-by at Larry’s NMT. Click for a larger view.

There for the duration of CNY’s edition of the International SUN-Day 2014 were Larry Slosberg, Bob Piekiel, Dave Wormuth, George Wong, and myself, plus Larry’s Baader-ized 12″ New Moon Telescope Dob, Bob’s 60 mm Coronado SolarMax II, my trusty Coronado PST, and a few pairs of official Charlie Bates Solar Astro solar glasses direct from Stephen Ramsden’s lecture at NEAF 2014 (George demonstrating their usage below).

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George demonstrating proper technique. Click for a larger view.

The day was excellent for solar observing (made so by the presence of a few trees to provide a little shade) and our two hour session ended up hosting about 30 people, a few of whom definitely took their time to enjoy the view, then many who took a quick glance, then another out of surprise, then attempted the ritual smart phone documentation of the view. As one can see below, the Coronado PST lets in more than enough red light to saturate the iPhone CCD camera. Whereas your eye is insensitive enough to provide you some very nice surface and prominence detail, the image below just barely gives you a view of otherwise wispy visual prominences.

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The H-alpha’ed Sun saturating a CCD. Click for a larger view.

Only a few of the attendees knew in advance from the website, twitter feed, or Facebook page. The others were simply caught as passers-by taking in the Creekwalk and Armory Square. The busy weekend being what it was, I even managed a short music conversation with the tour manager for Don Felder (who’d played with Foreigner and Styx the night before), himself taking in a bike tour of the Creekwalk and greater Syracuse area. And, despite our best efforts, we couldn’t get a couple of the leisurely strollers to veer our way to take in views. If you ever see us set up and observing, we hope you’ll line right up behind an eyepiece and take a look!

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Larry explaining everything. Click for a larger view.

Not too long after Int. SUN-Day, CNYO members received a request from Nancy Volk at The MOST to lend our solar scopes to a group of area 8th graders taking in a series of Space Science demos on the morning of 18 July 2014. Friday’s being what they are, I was left to sneak out on my own to run a mini solar session with just the Coronado PST and Bates Solar Glasses.

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The last of four outdoor sessions. Click for a larger view.

The morning session ended 3 hours later with no small amount of Armory Square drama unrelated to the session, the telling and re-telling of every solar fact I could come up with, and 70 enlightened students and teachers.

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Demonstrating the relative motions of the inner planets. Click for a larger view.

Instructive Demo Of The Day: Solar glasses and a +100 lumen flashlight are themselves an excellent combination in a pinch, as all can agree that the pre-filtered light is blindingly bright, while everyone around the glasses-wearing test subject gets a good laugh from seeing the flashlight waved within an inch of thin Baader film separating the wearer from a really bad case of temporary blindness.

We’ve now the official word on International SUN-Day 2015 – June 21st to be exact. Expect CNYO members to be somewhere (likely the Creekwalk again) hosting another session (weather-permitting, as usual)!

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