Well, our first ever Autumn Astro Camp at Tatum Park last weekend went extremely well - in fact, judging by the video below, it was a blast!
The weather behaved for us on both the Friday and Saturday nights, and our weekend of stargazing kicked off with an opportune flyover of the International Space Station at 7:09pm on Friday night. We were treated to an array of telescopes viewing many of the old favourites, such as Saturn, the Orion nebula, 47 Tucanae, Eta Carina, the Jewel Box and Omega Centauri to name a few. But several of us spent some time looking at (and for!) some of the harder to find Messier objects and a multitude of galaxies that simply wouldn't be visible from the light-polluted skies of our normal viewing location at the Adventure Park.
There were a number of presentations over the weekend given by complete beginners and seasoned amateur astronomers alike, which made for an interesting array of information being passed on. Well done to all presenters and thank you for your efforts - I know it pushed some to the edge of their comfort zones, but everyone, including the audience benefited from the experience.
On Saturday night, the kids were each given some coloured LED finger-lights and had a great time writing names and drawing patterns in the dark for a few time-lapse images (you'll see some of those in the slideshow above). On Sunday, they were treated to a couple of vinegar and baking soda rocket launches (video above) and then it was the children's turn to do a poster and give a presentation of what they had learned or seen over the weekend. Awesome work kids, and it was great to see so many of you down there and participating in the weekend's activities.
I give a big "two thumbs up" for the Astro Camp, and I definitely would like to see us hold more of these in the future.
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