Forest Park Elementary - Cuivre River State Park - September 13, 2010

posted Sep 14, 2010, 6:36 PM by Jim Twellman
Last night we split forces and had two camps to serve. Marv Stewart and I went
to Camp Sherwood to show the stars to about 100 fifth graders from Forest Park

I arrived around 7pm and found Marv with his 8" dob already set up. I unloaded
and set up my 8" SCT and my 16" dob. While we were talking with the school's
principal (but before the kids came out, unfortunately ) we observed the ISS
passing overhead.

The kids came out shortly after (around 7:45pm), but we did not observe the
Iridium flare that was predicted. Very few stars were out, and Jupiter had not
yet cleared the trees. So, we showed the moon in two scopes, and I managed to
squeeze the double star Albireo from the still-bright sky in the third. As it
got darker, M57 (the Ring) and M22 (glob) were shown. Finally, Jupiter cleared the
trees and was viewed, along with its' four moons.

Clouds started invading slowly from the northwest. By the time we were showing
to the 3rd wave of 25-28 students, we only had Jupiter. For some reason, I
managed to find Albireo in a thin patch of clouds in my 16". As the clouds
overtook and obliterated the view of Jupiter entirely, I was able to maintain a
view of Albireo nearly overhead for the entire last group of campers. It was
not able to be found in my 8x50 finder, so had I lost it I would not have been
able to recover it.

We finished up around 9:20 and I packed up and was out before 10pm. It was a
successful evening, we took what was available and made the most of it. Kids
were well-behaved, and hopefully learned something and enjoyed themselves.

Jim T.