Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, USA

May Public Outreach Session

Bringing Space Exploration & the Night Sky Down to Earth

May Public Outreach Session

This past Saturday, May 31st, I helped out again with the Public Outreach / Observing session put on by the Morehead Panetarium.  The session was held out at Jordan Lake just west of Apex and south of Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

People showed up well in advanced of the official start time of 9:00pm.  But even at 9pm, the skies were still too bright from most DSOs so I wowed them with views of Saturn is its moons (Titan, Dione, Mimas, Enceladus and Rhea).  The lines at the many of the scopes were quickly reaching 20+ people long.  In total, the Planetarium staff estimated we had 350 to 500 visitors show up.  

At about 10pm I switched my sights to galaxies and began to use my Astro Video Systems Astronomy video camera.  The first target was the Sombrero Galaxy (otherwise known as M104), followed by views of the Leo Triplet though only one galaxy would fit in my field of view.  However the best galaxy view was M51 (NGC 5194), the Whirlpool Galaxy.  Below is a brief video capture: