Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer School, Day 7: Solstice, star party, and up too late for a good cause

I got back to my room at 12:57 AM.

Kendia and I suggested we do a dessert potluck and then a star party (telescope viewing) and moon observation.

We met at the Dorm about 7:17 pm and I made Virgin Pina Colada's, Mai Tai, and Margarita's.

I set up two telescopes and binoculars for a waxing gibbous Moon (more than half lit and getting bigger) observation. Venus was bright and also in gibbous phase.  About 10 the party was winding down but a few faithful stayed longer and got great views of the moon.

Then about 11 pm I realized Saturn was up and enjoyed the "Oh my gosh, it really does have rings". I love that comment, it is just the pure joy of discovery.

Some students from Singularity University program/reception came walking through over the next 2 hours. I had amazing talks with Jordan and Joe who work in the fluid dynamics lab and we talked about rocket fuel, hybrid fuel , droplet analysis and ROCKET SCIENCE   OH MY GOSH I'M AT A NASA FACILITY AND AND HAVE CASUAL CONVERSATIONS ABOUT ROCKET SCIENCE WITH INTERNS WHILE STAR GAZING WAH HOOOO!

One pair of students , Justin from Canada and Tigest (teh-jist)  from Ethiopia (I think)  were really stoked about the Moon and Saturn  and stayed out their for 2 hours.(pictured in the photo)

These two were fun. Back from a formal party/reception they were so appreciative and enthusiastic about the 'scopes and viewing that it was a joy staying out 2 hours past bedtime. Funny, they said I complementary things about me. We were all caught in neat moment, Tigest kept saying how sleep would be totally awesome with the visions of the moon and Saturn still in her minds eye (paraphrase) Justin and I got in discussion about DNA testing (he is a biotech guy from...let me look at his card...HOLY FRINGGN COW...from Cambridge...England...Newton went there..wow..oh he got to look through my (school's) Newtonian Telescope...how perfect.
And that's what this night was..long..but PERFECT.   (moon photo taken by me by holding an old SONY Mavica 3.5 floppy disk camera to the eyepiece...SINUS IRIDIUM -Bay of Rainbows)

I am so impressed with all the college students, from Fresno to Cambridge, you are our Future and you are looking bright.  I'm glad you got see some heavenly objects tonight because tonight YOU WERE MY SHINING STARS.  Thank you!

YouTube Video of the LATE STAR PARTIERS

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