LETTER: Astronomy night introduces the universe

Reader Marilyn Roberts: "People were very involved and asked great questions; they also learned to focus the scopes and track the objects."

On Aug. 18, Eric Moon and I presented an astronomy night at the Kokanee Creek Visitors Centre.

The first hour and a half we spent at the visitors centre introducing people to the universe, including movement of the Earth, moon, planets and stars (orbital mechanics), navigating the sky (constellations and guide stars), objects to look at in the telescope (what they are and how they got there) and telescope etiquette. About 50 people attended. The audience was very engrossed and many questions from both adults and children were asked and answered. We also set up a 10-inch hand-built Dobsonian so people could see up close what we would be using for the star-gazing session.

As the sky began to darken, we set two 10-inch Dobsonians up in the playground field and spent time showing Saturn to everyone. The rings were beautiful and people became very excited with their first view through the scopes.

As the sky got darker and Saturn disappeared behind a tree, we started looking at other objects and tried to show people at least one emission nebulae, planetary nebulae, globular cluster, open cluster, double star, and galaxy. We again explained what these were and pointed out where each was in the sky. Some objects seen included M13, the Andromeda and Whirlpool galaxies, the Ring, Dumbbell, and Lagoon nebulae, Alberio, Mizar and Alcor, and the golden double in Delphinius. People were given charts of the current sky so they could identify the asterisms for themselves later. People were very involved and asked great questions; they also learned to focus the scopes and track the objects.

Joanne Siderius, the naturalist at the park, loaned us two milk cartons so the shorter children could reach the eyepieces. Thanks, Joanne!

The night was a great success and we viewed till after 11 p.m. when most people went back to camp.

Marilyn Roberts


Just Posted

Nelson Leafs’ win marred by dangerous play

Nelson is undefeated through the first five games of the season

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Slocan seniors’ housing hosts grand opening Sept. 27

The society wants to give the public a glimpse before tenants move in and the weather changes.

LETTERS: Tom Fletcher analysis is as outdated as the Edsel

Dona grace-Campbell takes issue with columnist Tom Fletcher’s column on the carbon tax

VIDEO: Lydia Kania is here to skunk you

The Vallican track athlete has turned to cribbage in her senior years

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read