We offered a telescope clinic that was open to the public. Several people brought a variety of telescopes, to have checked out. We were fortunate to have partial clearing in the west, and we did some observing of Venus and Jupiter, located close together in the sky.
All our meetings are open to the public. We shared observing highlights (including aurora sightings), astrophotographs and experiences. Our meetings beginning at 7:30 pm at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, 411 Susquehanna Ave., Ambler, 19002. Look for the black and yellow BMA2 signs.
BMAA was invited to participate in a solar event with NASA at the Pocono International Raceway on the weekend of June 6th & 7th. NASA visits some of the NASCAR tracks with a public outreach program called “Rockets to Racecars” which highlights some of the physics and developments involved in making the rockets and racecars go fast. Also highlighted at the event was the heliophysics division from Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland. At their request we provided live telescope viewing of the Sun during the pre-race event. Terry Park from BMAA was on hand with his wonderful Lunt solar scope giving folks impressive views of the solar prominences along the limb of the Sun. Dwight Dulsky was using a Thousand Oaks glass solar filter which showed off the sunspots on the solar surface. Working in tandem, folks were able to visit both telescopes and see some great features. Over the course of two days, we got the opportunity to talk to hundreds and hundreds of racefans who stopped by our scopes. A great big thank you to Carolyn Ng of NASA for the invite and our NASA/NASCAR liaison Bonny Murray for treating us like “rock stars” all during the weekend.
Terry Park and some NASCAR fans before the race
Terry Park (center left) Dwight Dulsky (center right)
April 25th Earth Day Celebration at the Jarrett Nature Center in Horsham, PA
behind Hatboro-Horsham H.S. – Solar Event Sat 9:30am – 12:30pm
BMAA had a fun time at the 2015 Jarrett Nature Center annual Earth Day Event. Although the Sun was elusive most of the morning, we eventually got a few peeks in here and there before the event concluded. Remember: Never look directly at the Sun using telescopes or binoculars with our proper approved safe solar filters. Instant and permanent blindness can occur looking at the Sun through unfiltered optics.
Igor, Terry, Rodney, Lee, Gary & Dwight (not pictured) attended the solar event at Jarrett
Hydrogen Alpha and White Light solar filters were used to see various features on the Sun.
When I arrived at Nockamixon State Park visitor center, the moon was just slightly visible through some high haze. We had a nice group of about 18 kids and their parents attending. I talked and did a demo on how our Earth’s tilt in it’s yearly orbit makes our seasons. Then we talked about telescopes and did our demo with our portable “optics lab”. The kids had fun playing with the lenses and bringing images into focus. Next up was a handout on the winter hexagon. Beth, the Environmental Education Specialist had a nice constellation flashlight projector for the kids to use in the last 15 minutes. I went out at that point and was surprised to see Jupiter, Sirius and the Moon looking pretty darn good! Since I already had my 80mm set up inside on the portamount, it was easy to take it outside and get on the Moon. The kids had a good eyeful of the Moon, then we went to Jupiter where they saw the moons and cloud bands. They got a chance to see the real winter hexagon. The final treat of the evening was a nice halo around the Moon. All in all it worked out just fine and a good time was had by all. The kids were a great group. – Dwight Dulsky
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