Pheasant Point Elementary - Camp Derricotte - 9/24/12

posted Sep 24, 2012, 8:35 PM by Jim Twellman
This camp event was originally scheduled for Wednesday evening (26th), but the forecast caused the school to request that we move it to Monday.  John agreed with the request early on Monday, with the hope that he could get some help on short notice!  Chuck Simms and I chipped in with two 8" SCTs, and John brought the 13" Coulter for DSO's.  We began with all three scopes on the moon for the first group around 7:20pm.  We figured that clouds might cause later groups to get no views, so we got started as quickly as possible although it was not dark yet.

We went thru four classes of fifth graders in pretty quick order, finishing at 8:50pm.  Classes were 20+, for a total of 100 including teen counselors and teachers.  In addition to the moon we provided views of M13 and Albireo.  The moon was 2 days past 1st quarter (waxing gibbous), and some kids seemed to know the lunar cycle pretty well.

The moon was definitely bright.  It was easy to view during dusk, but as it got dark it took its' toll.  M57 faded out quickly under magnification.  Kids who saw the moon would come over to see Albireo in my scope and still be too blinded to see it for awhile. 

We went thru this group fast.  I believe that this was the first time that we have worked with this elementary school.  We may need to stress our educational capabilities with them next year.  As a fairly new school they are probably not very familiar with us. 

It was a fun night, but we did hurry it with some concern for becoming clouded-out.  Clouds did dominate the south, as the Teapot was hardly to be seen all night.    All in all we felt fortunate to be able to give the kids a good show and not be shut down due to clouds.

Jim T.
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