Cub Scout pack #856 at Indian Camp Creek Park - 4/5/13

posted Apr 6, 2013, 7:03 AM by Jim Twellman
This event had been scheduled for Saturday May 6, but was hurriedly re-scheduled to Friday night due to weather forecasts.  I arrived at 7:15 and set up two telescopes (16" dob and 8" SCT) at Shelter #5.  The 45 scouts (and families) hiked over from the camp site at 8:10 in an obviously excited state.  After introductions, the group was split up in smaller units to look thru the scopes.  Two parents were 'recruited' to assist at each scope while I went back and forth. The kids settled into the routine nicely. 

Over the course of the next hour the following items were observed/shown: 
+Jupiter and it's 4 major moons (Io, Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa), which held fairly well at 290x in the 8"
+ M42 (Messier 42) - the Great Orion Nebula, birthplace of young stars, at 60x in the 16"
+ M3 - globular star cluster in Canes Venatici, at 203x in the 16"
+ M41 - open star cluster in Canis Major, at 60x in the 16"
+ a Canes Venatici ("Cor Caroli") - colorful double star, at 80x in the 8"
+ M45 open cluster:  the Pleiades (aka the Seven Sisters, aka, "Subaru"), at 60x in the 16"
+ M41 open cluster, at 60x in the 16"

For the belt loops, we covered focusing a telescope, how to find the North Star (Polaris), and talking to an astronomer (amateur in my case, but it counts).  Constellations and asterisms that were pointed out included:   Orion, Big Dipper (part of Ursa Major), Leo, and Cassiopeia.

By 9:15 it had clouded up and I began to pack everything up and left by 9:40.  This was my first major outreach for 2013, and my scopes seemed 'heavier' than I remembered!  The good news is that everything worked fairly well, and no major surprises.

Jim Twellman

[Below:  a look toward the camp, from Shelter #5 (a short hike away)]