In spite of worries about the weather, Friday night’s “Switch off the lights and switch on the stars” went really well. It was gusty, but there were very few clouds. I did wish I could have blown one off the Pleiades though. I’d hoped for more people (Note to self: next year do more advanced publicity so there’s a bigger crowd.) but I was very glad I’d invested in a stool for the little kids. Often it’s the first time they’ve looked through a telescope, and they’re usually delighted.
I never got around to practising setting up the telescope, but it only took me ten minutes or so. I’d hoped to show people that Venus goes through phases like the moon, but it’s quite small and almost full so that didn’t really work. (Note to self, it will be larger and definitely a crecent in September, when it will be in Virgo.)
Since neither Jupiter nor Saturn were available (well, not until the early hours, long after I’d left) the greatest hit of the night was the crescent moon. It’s much prettier than a full moon when you look through a telescope, because the seas and craters are lit at an angle, so they show up much better.
I also enjoyed the music. Mostly I was too busy to pay much attention, but there was definitely some Jean Michelle Jarre in there.
I wonder how I can get a bigger telescope for next year?