InOMN 2015

posted: 821 days ago, on Monday, 2015 Sep 14 at 23:23
tags: astronomy, outreach, InOMN, Moon, StarPeople, events, Ed Foster, Richard Ford, Gordons Bay.

To celebrate this year's International Observe the Moon Night a group of us (Ed & Lynnette Foster, Wendy Vermeulen, Richard Ford and myself) arranged an event on the beach front in Gordon's Bay, where we've held several previous outreach events.

After a quick lunch at Zest on Beach Road (highly recommended, btw) we began setting up and as usual the first visitors arrived while things were still in disarray.

(top row, 1 & 2): Bits of scopes and furniture as Wendy, Richard and Ed (top row, 3) set up telescopes. (bottom row, 1): Getting ready to show sunspots through Richard's 12-inch, Wendy checking the collimation. (2) First guests. (3) With the Sun too low for sunspot viewing it was a go for the Moon.

It became very clear very soon that the wind would be a major hassle. Tables and chairs were blown over, and Lorenzo's tube cover turned into a hurtling frizbee a few times despite being firmly in place atop the tube. Trying to view the Moon was a feat in and of itself as the telescopes oscillated sometimes alarmingly with the gusts.

(top row) Last glimpse of the Sun, setting in the direction of Muizenberg. Devil's Peak on the far right. (bottom row, 1 & 2) Two cellphone captures of the Moon, the left-most one by Cheyenne. (3) The pack-up begins in the howling wind.

Despite the horrible wind, by 19:00 we had over 50 Moongazers, but conditions clearly weren't going to get any better. Theo, a Gordon's Bay local and U3A hike leader, noted sagely that the wind wouldn't die down. By this time I'd given up trying a Periscope broadcast because with wind noise was overwhelming. Somewhat reluctantly we packed up. We did, however, get in a decent three hours of outreach, which is, despite conditions, always huge amounts of fun.

Thanks to everyone who came out to help, and I hope to see y'all in about a week's time at the total lunar eclipse!

nothing more to see. please move along.