100 Hours - part five
Every night since Thursday (whie I've been galavanting off with the Scitech crew), astronomers and volunteers from Perth Observatory have been manning telescopes in Kings Park. They've been setting up at midday and running through until 10pm each night. Since I was at a loose end this evening (Scitech have gone to Busselton overnight but I have to be at work in the morning), I went along to their event at about 2pm and ended up staying until about half nine.
They had two scopes out, a little refractor tracking the Sun and projecting the image onto a card screen, and a 12-inch set up for the evening. The Sun is quite featureless at the moment, so there wasn't much to see, but we had a steady stream of visitors all afternoon, many of whom said they would come back after dark to look through the 12-inch. It was good fun, and I even met a Jodcast listener!
Observing at Perth Observatory's star party in Kings Park, 5th April 2009. Left: observing the Sun. Right: after dark. CREDIT: Megan
As it went dark, the 12-inch got set up and pointed at the Moon as it rose over the trees. The refractor got dismantled and an 8-inch appeared to go on the now spare mount. For most of the evening we had the Moon through the 8-inch and Saturn through the 12-inch. I spent the evening either manning the 12-inch or wandering around talking to random people. I had some great conversations with various kids who knew a surprising amount, but had a few wacky ideas. There were even a few Scouts there!
Five star parties in six days, phew! It's been a lot of fun, but I'm absolutely shattered!