Anthem Cub Scouts View the Stars at Heimhenge

DFAC hosted an Astronomy Night for the Alligator Den of Anthem Cub Scout Pack 432 on March 2nd at Heimhenge, the residence of DFAC President Dan Heim. 12 Scouts and 6 parents (including Den Master Mike Setto, who coordinated this event for his group) were in attendance. DFAC members Dan Heim, Roger Serrato, Ron Walker, and Scott Loucks worked the scopes.

The large orange scope is Dan's 17" Dobsonian. It's simple design invites viewers to take a look, even when its owner is busy elsewhere (like shooting photos).

When this 8-foot long Dobsonian scope is pointing upward, the "height challenged" often require use of a ladder to get to the eyepiece.

The long climb to the top is rewarded with an amazing view of the Moon at 80x magnification.

Dan explains what made the craters on the Moon to one curious Scout. These smart kids asked a lot of good questions.

Roger's 8" CAT showed a great view of crescent Venus, which was just past greatest elongation.

Only a small step stool was required for the CAT. Here, the Scout is exclaiming how crescent Venus looks just like a tiny Moon. It really does!

Ron had his laptop connected wirelessly to Scott's LAMP Observatory, also in New River, and was receiving live remote images of Comet Lulin every 10 minutes. The comet's rapid motion relative to the stars was clearly visible. This wireless linkup worked so well we expect to use it again at future public outreach events.

Towards the end of the evening, a strange object appeared to the north. Actually, Ron was showing them where the North Star was located. But since it wasn't visible to the camera, I thought I'd make this photo more interesting with a little digital editing. Several people asked what we thought about UFOs, so it seemed appropriate.

This Cub Scout event was reported in the Foothills Focus, our local newspaper. The two-page article follows.