Author Topic: More observing at Palo Alto High School  (Read 886 times)


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More observing at Palo Alto High School
« on: May 14, 2016, 09:12:17 AM »
    On Monday, we observed a lot of clouds while the transit of Mercury was in progress :-)

    More successfully, last night (13th) the high school's astronomy club put on an "astronomy
night" consisting of a movie shown on the giant screen in the Media Center (complete with
snacks and an introductory explanation of some black hole physics by the astronomy instructor)
followed by a small star party out on the football field.  Attendance was some 35-40 all
told, a mix of students, parents, teachers and a few additional friends and relatives. 
    Since the site is right in the middle of the city and somewhat bright, viewing was of the
Moon (along the terminator), Jupiter (plus 3 major moons, Io was crossing the face of Jupiter
at the time and not visible),  Mars and Saturn, in that order.  Seeing was so-so, with
magnifications beyond 200X being of no use.  Jupiter displayed the equatorial belts well,
but nothing else. Saturn was, as usual, the big hit. Also arousing interest was seeing the
isolated illuminated mountain tops just beyond the Moon's sunrise terminator.  Mars was a
featureless red ball bouncing around :-)
    The slightly over 1-hour session was well received, with lots of positive comments, plenty
of interested questions, and many thanks offered to the operators of the two telescopes (10"
dob and 8" SCT).
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 01:00:03 PM by buynoski »

John Pierce

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Re: More observing at Palo Alto High School
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2016, 04:39:56 PM »
actually, Io transited in front of jupiter last night (the 13th).   Early in the evening, Io was outside jupiter, and around 9pm or so it started the transit.    in moments of good seeing I could just make out the bright spot against jupiters face.   the shadow didn't appear until significantly later, and I had packed up before then so never saw it.