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Recent ASNH Activities

by Donna Pursley

Mars-Neptune Conjunction, December 31, 2016

­­Our last event of 2016 was a chance to see the Mars-Neptune conjunction. Jim and Laurie were so kind to offer their backyard for club members to set up our scopes to view the conjunction. They have a huge vista looking South and West so it would have been the perfect place for viewing. They even were offering some snacks to keep us warm.

As it turned out, not surprisingly, it was cloudy. We were hoping for maybe a sucker hole, but it was not to be. So it turned into a social affair for the 8 of us. Jim and Laurie brought some pizzas and made 3 different kinds of homemade soup. We had some nice desserts to top off the meal. There was hot coffee and tons of different kinds of tea. By about 9pm, we all left so we would be home before too late and to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Science Night at Meadowside Elementary School in Milford, March 3, 2017

You know how we had a record warm February? Well, the forecast for the day of this event was for temperatures in the 20’s and even a possible snow flurry.

The cold weather didn’t seem to matter to these kids and their parents. From the moment we showed up they were eager to look through the scopes. The first batch didn’t even have coats on.

Because of the bright moon and bright floodlights we were not able to move around the sky. We showed them the moon, Venus, the Pleiades star cluster, the Orion Nebula and a few other things.  At times the lines were probably a dozen kids deep. A few commented on the fact that they never saw the moon close up like that before. I also heard that looking through the scopes was the best thing all night. Some of them must have been learning astronomy because they knew a few facts. We will probably have a good crowd at our next Silver Sands.

Inside, in the warmth, Greg had the meteorites and Laurie was demonstrating pinhole solar projections and handing out cards on the 2017 eclipse.

The event was over a little after 8pm and we were thanked by bags of really good brownies to take home. These were enjoyed with some hot chocolate.

Thank you card from Meadowside Elementary School. Below: Laurie Averill with a homemade eclipse projector and the ASNH meteorite display.

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