HMN-Led Presentation and Possible Future CE Opportunity for HMNs

I led a small and informal stargazing session on Thursday, October 27, at Starry Meadows, a farm near Linville owned by Sharon and Jay Landis, participants in the most recent Headwaters class. They have been hosting numerous bird walks there, but had expressed an interest in taking advantage of their dark skies for astronomy outings. I intentionally limited the number of participants and did not post it on Better Impact, since I thought there might be technical and logistical problems on this first attempt. Although all went well, it took some time to find a suitable spot, not blocked by trees or buildings.

We had a great time using binoculars and my conventional refracting telescope, but the images obtained by my EvScope, essentially a telescopic camera that can take very long exposures, seemed to create the most excitement. It has the particular advantage of being able to connect with smartphones and tablets, such that up to ten participants can view astronomical images forming over seconds to minutes. At top is an image of the Lagoon Nebula, a star-forming region in the constellation Sagittarius, with a cluster of recently-formed stars to the upper left.

We are hoping to schedule such sessions with members of the Master Naturalist group in the future, with continuing education credit. We are also hoping to do some outreach to youth groups in the area.

– Zack Perdue, Cohort VII, October 2022