Thursday, August 27, 2009

Powell River Turns Out for a Star Party

Tonight was the second Star Party hosted by Powell River Books at the Town Centre Hotel in Powell River, BC. Wayne (with a little help from me) set up two telescopes in the hotel's courtyard. The goal was to introduce people to astronomy and the availability of affordable telescopes. The Star Party was part of our contribution to the International Year of Astronomy. Around the world, amateur and professional astronomers have been hosting similar events.

The moon slipped below the horizon before darkness set in, so we set up Wayne's more powerful Meade LX90 to focus on Jupiter. Jupiter is currently as close as it gets to the earth, and viewing is excellent. The four largest moons were lined up in a row, and the bands were quite evident. Thanks to the computer driven controllers on today's modern scopes, we were able to easily find and track the evenings best celestial objects.

Participants of all ages had a good time, and they especially enjoyed their free commemorative hand painted constellation paper weights. Wayne and I want to thank Shelly, the manager of the Town Centre Hotel, for her ongoing support of events like these and Powell River Books.

Wayne is an enthusiastic amateur astronomer. He has three telescopes, a Meade ETX125 (125 millimeter) Maksutov-Cassegrain, a Meade LX90 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain, and a Edmond Astroscan (for fun). For newbie amateurs astronomers, here are a few of his recommendations:

I am amazed at how dark and clear the sky can be here in Powell River. It's a perfect location for night sky exploration, even from the corner of our float cabin up Powell Lake.

Do you have a favourite night sky viewing spot? Let us hear about it. -- Margy

4 comments:

  1. The only thing I can honestly complain about stepping out of the rural area, is that I don't have that huge starry sky to enjoy. but it's a tiny price to pay for my peace of mind. Here the sky can be gorgeous as well, actually. Lucas is very woried of ets coing and abduce him LOL But we love to watch the stars, I should learnmore about them to identify the constelations, I'm such an ignorant about them! It's great that you had fun in this event!

    Kisses from the two of us.

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  2. I am glad your party was success.
    I love looking at the stars.
    The weather has been great for all of our adventures.

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  3. glad it was a success ... i thought it was set for the weekend ...
    i really have to get more pointed about marking stuff on the calendar
    so sorry jena and i mised it

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  4. Diane2:20 PM

    Jupiter is always spectacular viewing.

    Great reading here. Thanks!

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