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April 16 Public Night Successful; We'll Do It Again On May 14

Education Outreach
AOAS hosted a successful public observing event at Carol Ann Cross Park on April 16th as well over 110 people are treated to stunning views of Saturn, Jupiter, and a 1st Qtr Moon! We'll do it all again on May 14th.

For the estimated 110 to 125 guests attending the Carol Ann Cross "Saturn in the Park" event on Saturday evening, April 16th, a universal theme emerged something along the lines of "I never knew you could see that" or the more general and expressive, "WOW"! Several visitors brought their digital cameras and AOAS members helped many of them to try and take an image of the cratered moon, or Jupiter's cloud belts or Saturn's rings. Several were moderately successful and a couple achieved one or more spectacular shots. Anyone who did obtain one or more good images is invited to submit them to AOAS at either my email address or simply send them to webmaster@aoas.org. Images of visitors are also welcomed. We'd love to help you show them off to others in the area in one of our Photo Gallery albums.

(click READ MORE for the rest of this story)

Many of those images might resemble my images shown here. This is a magnified image of the moon's southern limb featuring the area known to amateur moon-watchers as "the lunar badlands". Anytime the moon is in its crescent phase to nearly full, that area along the dividing line between sunlight and shadow (called the 'terminator') shows excellent relief and greatly contrasting fully illuminated crater rims and flat plains as well as some remaining un-illuminated craters. The area in this image is among the most striking of all lunar terrain when the lighting is just right. I used a Canon PowerShot A 10 at full zoom with 640x480 image size for an easily managed file size.

Other sights that greeted visitors at "Saturn in the Parks" was the disk of mighty Jupiter, King of Planets, with its two primary brownish cloud belts just above and below its equatorial region. This image shows Jupiter as it actually appears in a telescope, wider at the equator and slightly "squished" at the pole regions. Jupiter's extreme rotational speed (a day on Jupiter is just over 10 hrs long) is the reason for this slightly flattened appearance.

Besides the two main cloud belts, amateur astronomers also like to watch the dance of Jupiter's ever-moving four largest moons, the Galilean moons which were first seen by Galileo's telescope in 1610.

Everyone will enjoy similar sights on May 14th when members of AOAS once again bring our telescopes to Carol Ann Cross Park for the last of our "Saturn in the Parks" events. Beautiful Saturn will be too low to the western horizon when the following AOAS event occurs on June 11, but that evening's targets will feature another beautiful crescent moon, Jupiter, along with a newly-returned-to-the-evening-sky planet Venus low in the SW at dusk. Our title for the remainder of our scheduled events for 2005 (after May 14) will revert back to "Stars in the Parks" indicating the availability of greater numbers of star clusters to go along with the wonders of our solar system's planetary targets. AOAS will host one event each month at Carol Ann Cross Park through Saturday October 1st.

YOU are invited to be our guest at any of the remaining Public Nights at Carol Ann Cross park for 2005. All events depend on clear skies. Watch this web site and for articles or discussion forum topics regarding any cancellations of these future events, and if the weather cooperates, bring your family out to see just a small sampling of our wonderful universe. And remember, bring those digital cameras to try and take home your very own images of our solar system!
April 16 Public Night Successful; We'll Do It Again On May 14 | 1 comments | Create New Account
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April 16 Public Night Successful; On to May 14
Authored by: Anonymous onMonday, April 18 2005 @ 12:30 pm EDT
It was a good night. I enjoyed showing people Saturn and Jupiter. I remember how I was when I first saw things like that. It would take me 3 years after I bought my telescope to see vivid details on Saturn and 5 for Jupiter. I'm glad people on their first view of the planet saw what took me so long to see. Most of the picture I took came out decent.

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