onight was the big show – Venus and Jupiter lining up just about on top of each other, a perfect astronomy night. And our club was going to take advantage of it, setting a line of telescopes up for the public to view around a lake at Seminole State.
JB and I got there early. It was our first true remote setup, and our first setup with a group. In this, it went easy. The telescope was lined and leveled in no time (I’ve had plenty of practice) But we were early so we sat in our chairs and read for a while.
Others set up around us. Eventually crowds formed. The moon was up and a couple of scopes swung that way. Me, I’d set up just past some trees and my equatorial wasn’t really good for quick-shifting so I stayed. Another guy slapped on a filter and showed the sun. Finally the sun dropped. And then someone called out, “There it is! Venus!” A dozen scopes swung into line with it.
I’ll say this – we were lucky. Every other direction – heavy clouds. But where it counted, where the two planets hung next to each other, we could just make it out. I boosted to the 10mm lens, 60x and could catch both planets sharp and within my view. All the scopes (mine included) had a line so I helped people to see both planets. In this, they were like Greg from a couple of weeks back – totally impressed. We had a great time.
I’d like to say more but I’m beat. Was up early (to ride the train in) and now I have a beer sloshing in my gut. I’m ready for bed. But I’m happy – I was able so show the kids who lined up at my scope some amazing things.