Museum Night 2015, Iziko, Cape Town

posted: 964 days ago, on Friday, 2015 Feb 27 at 07:39
tags: astronomy, outreach, Moon, Iziko, Cape Town, Walter.

The first Museum Night at Iziko Museums of South Africa was held in Cape Town on Thursday, 2015 Feb 26. The StarPeople were invited to set up telescopes outside the Planetarium and keep the visitors entertained, an offer we couldn't refuse.

The Museum was open until 21:00 and entrance was free. The Planetarium ran three free shows (18:00, 19:00 and 20:00) and we were to set up outside the main entrance.

As the 26th approached, we kept an eye on yr.no, arguably the most reliable public weather forecast service on the planet. The final prognostication was dire: complete cloud cover at 17:00, and heavy cloud at 20:00. Since experience has shown that you ignore yr.no at your own peril, we modified our plans slightly: Walter was left at home, and more hand-outs were packed in.

Naturally, there wasn't a single cloud in the sky the whole night. With just two 'scopes, we had to field 2,500 visitors. Long queues are never nice, but the visitors were incredibly patient and eager for their turn at the eyepiece (and for the chance to take a cellphone pic of the Moon). People started lining up at 16:45 to reserve their planetarium seats, and the last visitors left at 21:20.

Thanks to Theo Ferreira (Planetarium Manager) and Elsabe Uys (Planetarium Presenter) for a wonderful event!

(left) 16:58 - Ed lining up Lorenzo on the gibbous Moon (near top of frame); note the long queue! (right,top) yr.no's dismal prediction. (right, bottom) Four of the 2,500 visitors.

More visitors.

Lynnette showing the way to Outer Space.

nothing more to see. please move along.