Recent ASNH Activities
by Donna Pursley
Regional Water Authority Private Event at Lake Gaillard, Friday October 7th
This has become an annual event for us. We set our scopes up near a dam on the water company reservoir property. I have never seen the reservoir down so low. We had plenty of scopes. There were maybe 20 people that came to look through the scopes. Even though the moon was only a quarter, it brightened up the sky. Plus, it turned out to be a very dewy night. Anyone with a dew heater turned it on immediately, and some didn’t keep up. We were able to show the public enough to inspire them. Everyone learned a little and went home happy.
Madison Moonlight Walk, Madison Surf Club, Sunday October 16
We all love coming out for this event. We set our scopes up on the deck of the Surf Club. The attendees are there for an easy hike lead by a bagpiper. Then afterwards, they go inside for cider and doughnuts. After the cider, they come out to the deck to look through the telescopes. There must have been over 60 people there. We all had lines at our scopes and binoculars. For the lucky few that showed up early, we were able to show them Saturn, Venus and Mars. We had some lovely views of the full moon after the hike. There was a nice ISS pass to add to the night. It was very windy but the big scopes did just fine.
Silver Sands, Friday November 4
We set up in our new location by the parking lot. We do have a little problem with headlights, but we have a lot of people because they can find us easier. There were lots of scopes and lots of guests. We were able to show them Mars, Venus and Saturn. We were able to find loads of deep sky objects. There was a nice crowd during most of the night. I thought it was cold, but others didn’t seem to mind. I am glad that we started doing this event again because we have so many people show up and enjoy looking through the scopes.
Young’s Pond Park, Saturday November 5
Again, we had a nice showing of scopes. Not as many people came out, but that seems to be the norm for this site now. The clouds were on and off but we were able to find enough objects to keep everyone happy. Another cold night, but the sky is better and there were no mosquitos.
Mathewson Elementary School, Thursday November 10
This is a science event at the elementary school. ASNH had a table with the meteorites and Leo had his scope set up inside pointed at the stars (in the American flag). We were all set to have some star gazing outside, but the clouds did not cooperate. There were some interesting tables set up to show the students that science can be fun. They even had their own “Mr. Science” who was doing some exploding tricks.
Trumbull Nature and Arts Center, Friday November 11
This event had been rescheduled a few times, but tonight we were able to hold the event. We were in a new location this year, just behind the Nature Center building. I liked this better than the old location between the trees. The nature center staff had astronomy items inside the building while we had the scopes outside. It was a very cold and windy night. There was a bright moon and no planets, so we showed the people any deep sky objects that we could find. The visitors were very polite and the staff was very nice. This is one of my favorite outreach locations.
Winter Solstice Dinner, Saturday December 10
What a wonderful get-together!! The new location of the Unitarian Church of New Haven was cozy and warm. We had lots of terrific main dishes and sides. I heard a few comments on how good the chili was.
Then, there were the desserts. There were way too many to try every one of them. Everyone goes home happy with a full belly.
We had 2 quizzes this year. The first was a short multiple choice quiz from Wendo. It was 2-sided, which surprised many of us. He picked some pretty hard questions. My memory is failing, but I thing that John Pancoast won this quiz and received a nice book from Wendo and Steve.
Then it was Al’s turn. He uses slides that are sometimes put in upside down, backwards or both. The crowd gave him a rough time that night. There were 3 winners this time. Donna won the ‘coin toss’ and received the astronomy facts book prize. Bob Carruthers and Barbara received ASNH T-shirts.
Everyone had a terrific time. It is fun to get together with such nice people for the evening. We really do have a great bunch in our organization. This is something to be grateful for.