Green Lake Public Star Party

Default event

Open to Public

Type: Star Party

Keywords: Green Lake Star Party Outreach

Held on: Oct 03, 2014 (Fri) at 07:00 PM to Oct 03, 2014 (Fri) at 09:00 PM

Sunset Times:

  • Official at 06:44 PM
  • Civil at 07:15 PM
  • Nautical at 07:51 PM
  • Astronomical at 08:27 PM

Location: 47.680880, -122.341411

Event Coordinator: Mary Anderson

The SAS holds public outreach events once a month at Green Lake, south of the Bathhouse Theater. Come join us and enjoy the stars! Please note that the star party is now scheduled for Friday night.

Map

Latitude 47.68088, Longitude -122.341411

Notes

This first Green Lake Star Party scheduled for a Friday rather than Saturday night and hosted by Peter, Paul, and Mary (not the famous trio :-)) along with Mike was a great success.  There were four telescopes, including three reflectors and one refractor. Although the turnout was smaller than that of previous Saturday night star parties, the unfavorable weather forecast (which proved to be inaccurate) and the unfamiliarity with Friday night as a star party night could have been responsible for the lower turnout.  The smaller crowd was advantageous for the many people who wanted personalized advice and instruction on telescope purchase and usage. At previous star parties with turnouts of 100 to 200+, there was no time to give such personalized help.  I worked with two couples who were contemplating telescope purchase, and I had the time to give them detailed instructions in telescope use and types, which resulted in their firm decision to purchase a telescope.  I also allowed some to use my refractor in an individual way, slewing to different objects. One couple wanted to disassemble and pack up my refractor as a learning experience in preparation for owning a telescope.  As the star party drew to a close,  I carefully supervised their very good handling of the process.  

Also, with the smaller crowd, I had more time to answer questions about the sky and to help people discern the Summer Triangle and other points of interest.  I responded to many questions about the absence of planets in the current sky, the upcoming eclipses, the difference between a solar and a lunar eclipse, the difference between nebulae and galaxies, and many more.  The smaller crowd set the stage for more personalized discussion than occurs in the large crowd setting which demands supervising the many people who are using the telescope for a short time period and presenting information in a manner similar to classroom presentation.  I also overheard Peter, Paul, and Mike as they were giving the same kind of individualized instruction.  The smaller crowd offered a more in-depth experience; but, of course, a higher percentage of volunteers in relation to the crowd size could offer the same in-depth experience.

When attendance dropped off during the last hour of the star party, we decided to pack up at around 10:00 p.m., but as we entered the parking lot with our packed-up telescopes, we were confronted by four people who had just arrived for the star party.  The sky had just completely cleared, but we advised them to arrive shortly after 6:00 p.m. for the next star party because Seattle weather conditions often permit only 10 minute star parties since the sky can cloud over in the length of time required to unpack a telescope. :-)  Sky conditions for this star party were not ideal; but after canceling all star parties from September to June of last year,we were grateful that we were at least able to enjoy this star party.

 

I am very grateful to Peter, Paul, and Mike for being there and for sharing their expertise and telescopes with the enthusiastic crowd.  I really appreciate the generosity and willingness to help of these excellent astronomers.

Summary

Number of Supporters: 4

Number of Attendees: 70

Number of Telescopes: 4

Duration (hours): 4.5

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