Lewis & Clark Elementary - Cuivre River S.P. - September 22, 2014
Post date: Sep 25, 2014 1:51:10 AM
A very nice evening for telescopes and kiddos. I brought two scopes, my 8" SCT and my 16" dob. I asked a teacher (James) to man the 8", and show the double star Albireo (beta Cygni). I did a short talk as we began, and had a volunteer watching the clock and a spot in the sky. A very bright (~ mag -6) Iridium Flare popped right on time just above Polaris at 7:54pm, and the crowd went wild! An estimated 130+ enjoyed views thru the scopes from 7:45pm to 10:00pm. This was a large crowd for just two scopes, and it was difficult for one person.
The location was Camp Derricotte, a wonderful site, limited only by tall trees blocking Saturn :-( and one disturbing dusk-to-dawn light :-O near the center of the camp. I showed M13 in the 16" for all the kiddos. After which, the teen counselors and teachers were invited back and they enjoyed views of M31, M27, M11, and M15.
There were some cirrus clouds early on, but they thinned out once it got good and dark. The usual 'survey' of kids who've seen the Milky Way before (just under half), and they were all able to see it clearly on this moonless night. There were lots of little "Wow!"s exclaimed throughout the evening.