Observing with the Boy Scouts 06/29/02
Hi All. Went on my second Boy Scout camping trip. Brought my telescope, my sons scope and the binoculars with the mount. That’s 0 for 2 as far as the weather goes. It was what most people would call clear all day. But we amateur astronomers know better. There was a thin streaky cloud cover all day. Just enough to make observing near impossible. As night fell, I could see a few of the brighter stars, Vega, Arcturus and I could just about make out the Big Dipper. So I set up. Of course by the time I was ready, the Big Dipper was gone. I was able to do a 2 star alignment using Vega and Arcturus. I pointed the scope at M57 the Ring Nebula, it was visible. I was glad for that, I had about 50 boy scouts and cub scouts in line already. They were happy with the view never having seen it before. I was wishing for a planet or the moon, none of which were present. Those would have been better targets for the general public in this sort of sky. Anyway, I next went to M13, which was way less than spectacular. Lots of, “Oh yeah, I can see it” comments from the crowd. At about 11:00 it was lights out for the younger kids. Some of the older kids (meaning the adults) and teenagers hung around while I pointed the scope at some double stars for them. Every one had a good time in spite of the sky conditions. I was invited to about half a dozen up coming dozen events. Don’t know how many I can make but I was flattered for so many invites. I’m sure if I keep going to these things, eventually we’ll get a good night and the scouts will see what this hobby is really all about.