We are not backyard astronomers. We do it in the front so everyone can see.
Tonight will be the first sidewalk astronomy session of the year for me. Chris Vessey will be taking his 8-inch Dobsonian telescope to Indigo parking lot on University Avenue and I plan to join in the fun with some handouts.
Plans are to be set up from 9-11PM this evening.
Featured objects will be Saturn at 9.4 AU distance and Luna which is waxing gibbous at about 72% illumination. If possible Jupiter will also be shown and maybe we can catch a peek at the GRS as it moves across the face of the giant planet.
Good news for Charlottetown star gazers. I delivered a six-inch Dobsonian telescope to the Robertson Library at UPEI this morning.
They now have all the components (easy-carry telescope bag, books, lens pen, etc.) necessary to start their library telescope loaner program.
I am hoping we will see the announcement of the program in the next week or two. The telescope will be available for students and the public at large. Contact the library at (902) 566-0583 for more information.
This makes another option for budding astronomers in our area. With the Charlottetown Public library having two telescopes, and the libraries in Stratford and Cornwall each having one this makes four available locally. In addition , the Montague Rotary Library also has a telescope available for public use.
Check back for another announcement shortly about another telescope loaner option.
As part of the Sidewalk Astronomers of Charlottetown 2016 fundraiser, I have sold a number of Dobsonian telescopes to new star gazers.
These wonderful telescopes are delivered in two boxes: a larger box for the optical tube itself and a smaller, flat heavier box which contains the parts of the telescope base.
Obviously the tube requires no assembly other than attaching the finderscope and eyepieces when observing. The base however, requires some assembly which is quite simple and instructions are easy to follow.
There are a few things that users should be aware of and which are not mentioned in the instructions:
when attaching the telescope base feet, ensure the screws are tightly secured. If not, you could lose one of the feet when transporting the telescope as it could work loose.
make sure that you do not over-tighten the central bolt that the base swivels on. It should not be so tight as to make the base difficult to move, yet not so loose that wind can easily move the telescope.
Tighten all other screws by hand and not with a power drill or driver.
Following these tips along with the clear directions in the box should ensure an easy assembly.
Raffle tickets have been prepared and are being distributed to sellers.
They should have them in the next day or so. Based upon the number of folks who have asked about holding one, I would encourage people to contact one of the ticket sellers sooner rather than later. Remember we are only selling 100 tickets so they won’t last long. 0
If you are considering going to the Charlottetown Confederation Centre public library to place a request for one of the two telescopes they have, you can easily do it online.
By using this link their catalogue search engine, you can put a”hold” on one of the telescopes. No need to go to the physical location.
There have been few evenings this year suitable for me to take my CPC 1100 XLT telescope out to Victoria Park for some Sidewalk Astronomy, but tonight looks like one of them.
Forecasts are for milder, but still cool temperatures, less than 25% cloud cover, low winds, and good seeing. That all adds up to getting some great views of the Moon, which is nearly full (99%); Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.
For the best opportunity to view planets Jupiter and Mars, come visit after 9:30PM; for Saturn, because it rises later, 10:30PM would be a good time.
Unfortunately, there are no transits of the Great Red Spot or the Galilean moons of Jupiter during the time I will be observing.
If you would like to observe Mars with your own telescope or binoculars, I suggest you read Dr. Brian Ventrudo‘s excellent guide.
As always, observing is weather and whether dependent.