Cub Scouts at Old Monroe - June 13, 2013

posted Jun 14, 2013, 5:47 PM by Jim Twellman
We provided 3 scopes to this event.  John Sgouros brought his APO refractor, Mike Clemente brought his 11" SCT, and I dragged out the 16" dob.  We set up in the grass behind the horseshoe pits at the Old Monroe (Winfield area) K of C grounds. The scouts had daylight/twilight camp activities, and were well behaved for us. 

Due to an unfavorable weather forecast for Wednesday, we pushed the event off to its' back-up date of Thursday which as of Wednesday morning looked preferable.  It turned out that Wednesday night was the pick of the two. Our meteorology department was caught napping! The skies Thursday were tough at times, but for the most part we gave the scouts what they expected.  Early views of the moon at all scopes.  I let them focus the dob on the moon, so my line was a bit long and slow.  Saturn was responsible for many ooh's and ahh's at John's and Mike's scopes.  When possible, with respect to maintaining the scope and the clouds above, we would use laser pointers to show how to use the Big Dipper to find Polaris.  The Northern sky was often more free of clouds than the Southern sky.

We got started just before 9pm, with a small part of the crowd. The 30 per shift thing was a little loose, as those in waiting were close by and the anxious ones got extra looks in, which is sort of good.   We had some parents and siblings, for a total estimated crowd of 90. Several were very interested.  I noticed some had planetarium apps on their cell phones.  We mentioned Friday Night Open House's at Broemmelsiek several times.

More than half the crowd departed by the time it got fairly dark.  I turned to double stars, like Mizar and Cor Caroli.  I know that Mike showed M13 and M57 later on.   Toward the end the clouds were approaching 80%, and the sucker holes got small.  The campers were all needing to head home, as their parents were to be at work the next morning (just like us!).  We were pretty much done by 10:15 and I was home by 11pm.

Hopefully we will see some of these families in the future at Broemmelsiek Park.

Jim Twellman