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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:02 pm
Posts: 156
Hi All. This year’s annual New Telescope Workshop was a huge success. We had a good showing of 20 or so ASTRA members to help out and help out they did! The guests came with kids scopes from Toys R Us, 80mm computerized scopes, 4 and 8 inch reflectors and various small refractors. About 11 or 12 scopes, some with whole families attached showed up for our assistance. John opened the meeting with club news, left over awards and a discussion about the on-going Coyle field situation. Ro's usual report on our public outreach program was sorely missed with illness in the family. I did an impromptu talk on telescopes in general, how they work, what you can expect to see, books, charts and various other topics. I got plenty of help from other ASTRA members and questions from the guests. Interesting questions from some of the kids like, “My eyepiece is the same as his” and “What number is on mine” proving it’s true, ”Kids do say the darndest things”! Anyway, after my talk, we merged ASTRA members and guests for some one on one assistance. Everyone was involved. It was one the most productive workshops I’ve seen in a long time. No shy people here! The room was just a buzz with astronomical discussions, telescopes going up and down, round and round (or altituding and azimuthing) it was great. There were about four $59.00 70mm refractors from Toys R Us which were a big improvement over the cheap department store telescopes we usually see. Although the tripod was plastic, it did not slip or fall. It held the scope up pretty well. It had a 2 inch knob to lock in altitude movement which held very well when locked and the scope did not drop when you loosened it and let go. Same for the azimuth but it was more of a thumb screw. I didn’t see how good the optics were, but I tell you, it was a big improvement mechanically over the norm. Another popular scope was a computerize 80mm refractor (can’t remember the brand) there were 2 of them. The problem seems to be in accurate pointing. It’s one of the new ones you don’t need a 2 star alignment. (Haaaaaaa Haaaaaaaa Hoooooooooooooo Haaaaaaaaaaa) OK I’ll try to stop laughing now. We did find how to do the 2 star alignment in the instructions. Both owners are going to try it and get back to us. I got a feeling we will get good news. For a change, we did have clear skies. It’s still very hard to see anything at the college with all the lights, but several people did go out and I heard mixed results. There was interest in joining the club and we did get one new member who joint that night. A few said they planned to come a join at the next meeting, I hope so! So the night was a big success. Thanks to all the members that showed up to help out. Our public outreach is alive a thriving! Let’s hope we continue to entertain, educate and grow though the New Year.

That’s it;
BOB SAL (The King)


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