Blaauwberg Conservation Group (2011 March 24)
Report on an astronomy outreach to the Blaauwberg Conservation Group at Eerstesteen, Blaauwberg
by Edward and Lynnette Foster
On a windy Thursday afternoon with fluffy clumps of clouds sailing westward across the sky, Lynnette and I set off to keep an astronomy appointment with Angus, Cindy, Daniel and the rest of the Blaauwberg Conservation Group at Eerstesteen on Otto du Plessis Drive in Blaauwberg. The clouds did not look as if they were going to allow us much in the way of viewing, but we hoped for the best.
While it got dark I gave the scheduled talk on "Why Astronomy is Important" to 35 enthusiastic attendees, hoping all the time that the clouds would give us a chance to set up the telescopes afterwards. During the coffee break after the talk it quickly became clear that the clouds were not co-operating so we opted for naked-eye star-hopping in the gaps between the clouds instead. That went quite well then, at around 22:00, just as we were about to pack up, most of the clouds disappeared!
So, out came one telescope and we spent some time with what was left of the group running through the usual list of astronomy objects until close on 23:00.
Lynnette and I decided to pack it in, despite one or two die-hards, as we were due to leave for an outreach event with Auke at Night-Sky in Bonnievale the following day.
We were pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and level of knowledge in the group and will certainly take up their invitation to go back and try other sites like Derdesteen or the crest of the Blaauwberg itself for observation with them.
I was also quite surprised by the SQML-reading of 19.4, which I thought was quite good for the site. That was darker than I had expected it would be.
We will certainly go back and, when we do, perhaps we can drag along a few more telescope operators as well!
nothing more to see. please move along.