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Astronomy Outreach

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Tonight I was at one of the local colleges, they had organised an astronomy evening for local primary school kids and parents, so myself and a few others from my astronomy society went along to provide some telescopes that the youngsters could look through.

After we had set up on their hockey pitch and they had extinguished the floodlights we had crowds of parents and kids come visit us for a look through the telescopeskids from about 4, up to some of the students at the school, and parents of the younger kids.

This was the third event they had put on, due mainly to being 3x oversubscribed for places (though you had to book a place it was provided free).

Luckily tonight was reasonably clear, so we showed people the moon, Jupiter and Saturn, the Pleiades and the orion nebula amongst others.

I also took along my camera and big lens to get some shots of the moon, unfortunately it was so cold that my camera batteries all gave up the ghost so I only got a few pictures. also included a shot of jupiter, not the best but i was running a 1000mm lens at 1/800s on the moon.






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I took my two to a event like that when they were about 12 and 7. It woke an interest for both of them, and where we used to go on ski trips in the alps all the apartment blocks were called after stars and constellations etc. Looking at the night sky on really clear crisp cold nights in the alps was magical. 

Maybe you can answer this for me Peter. I remember the Milky Way was really prominent when I was a child, but now it doesn’t seem to feature much, even in the dark skies of Norfolk when at the boat. Has it faded? Or am I just not looking enough? Or is it only at certain times of the year?

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Milky way is a summer thing, this time of year we are facing the wrong way at night.

Used to like a bit of star gazing but sold my scope after a couple of the local companies decided the sky needed lighting up to look like nuclear war had broken out.

Watching moons transit Jupiter from the garden was cracking. 

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generally light pollution is greater nowadays which certainly doesnt help, we have a dark sky sight and its stunning from there (just 5 miles out of canterbury too) if you moor up at hardly cross that is somewhere I have had good views of the milky way, you really do have to try and  get somewhere you cant see any other lights though.

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Milky Way is a chocolate bar :default_biggrin:

This is a great reminder for me

My boys are interested in this sort of thing, we have a big star gazing centre in Herstmonceux here in East Sussex. It's on my to do list for them this year, I'm sure they will love it x

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That big star gazing centre used to be the royal greenwich observatory till it moved to cambridge, I believe it's now sadly shut down in cambridge.

It was obviously originally in greenwich but moved to herstmonceux due to light pollution in london.

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we usually have some members attend the herstmonceux astronomy weekend every year, its a great place. now one fact you may not know but my ex's great great Uncle used to be a engineering technician at herstmonceux - maintaining the telescopes, there is still a room in the centre (not public access) that is called stans room, and the racks of spare parts for the domes are stored there to this day - all neatly labelled.

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