Wednesday, July 24, 2013

RET 2013: A night at the observatory

Last week the five of us RETers had a little bonding night! First we went to Zumba - which was crazy hot and lots of fun... and then we took advantage of our summer at BU by heading up to the BU observatory.
The BU observatory as seen from my desk across the street in the Photonics Center
The Observatory is open every Wed night from 8:30-9:30 and has students there guiding us from one telescope to another explaining what we are seeing.

This is a telescope inside the mini-museum - the ones we looked through are a bit less old school

This is a telescope inside the mini-museum - the ones we looked through are a bit less old school

Once outside (and loving the breeze given it was the middle of the 97 degree heatwave and we'd just finished an hour of dancing around on the 2nd floor of an un-airconditioned old church) we had a great view of Cambridge across the Charles River and of downtown.
This is the view from the top of the building across the Charles River!
We looked through three telescopes while up there. The first, and the one with the longest line, was pointed at Saturn. I tried taking a pic with my iPhone pressed up to the view finder but it didn't work out. To my eye Saturn looked like a tiny paper cut out of a circle with a ring around it. It's hard to believe I was looking at the real thing!

The next telescope had two stars (I forget their names). They burn at different energies so they are different colors (one red and one blue). This picture didn't come out ether, so you'll just have to imagine it.

Finally we got to the telescope pointed at the moon. How beautiful the moon is up close! The pictures below are what came out when I let my iPhone do the looking through the telescope.

If you look closely you can see some craters - many more were visible  when I looked through the 'scope directly!

Here I zoomed in for you!

PS. I just discovered that the observatory has a twitter feed here!

If you are around you should definitely check this out! It's free and you do not need a BU ID!

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