DFAC Presents Mr. Sun at Anthem Veterans Day Event

Anthem held its annual Veteran's Day Parade on Saturday, November 8th. Following the parade, from noon to 4 pm, they had a community celebration in the park. DFAC was there. So were the usual assortment of vendors, free and paid activities, and probably 5000 people. We had three telescopes there: Roger's 8" CAT with a neutral density solar filter, Jim's 8" CAT (aimed at a distant mountain peak), and Dan's 5" refractor with an H-alpha filter. Images from the event follow. All photos courtesy of Roger Serrato.

The sign was supposed to attract attention. After several people asked us "How much does this cost?" we added the word "free" in big red letters. It worked.

After we made it clear we weren't charging anything, business picked up nicely. We had maybe 75-100 viewers come by to check out Mr. Sun.

Roger snagged this cool canopy on Craig's List for $35. It provided some much-needed shade. This was a hot day. It also allowed viewers to get better contrast, since they were in the shade while viewing.

We weren't the only attraction, but we had a good spot along a major traffic path. And ... we were free!

Good thing you can't hear him, because he wasn't too happy with Mr. Sun. Due to a lack of any sunspots, Roger's neutral density filter showed no more than a white disc. People said they thought that was cool anyway, but they'd have been more impressed if we could've shown them some spots. Anyway, like they say, a bad day fishing is better than a good day at the office.

There was this annoying "toy train" that kept driving by our spot. On grass, it wouldn't have been a problem, but we were set up on a baseball diamond, and this train raised a lot of dust. Had to clean all my optics when I got back home. Next year we'll anticipate this joker, and set up where there isn't as much dust.

Dan shows some kids what a solar flare looks like. There weren't any sunspots, but there was a prominent prominence made up of two distinct filaments, with a length of maybe 5% the solar disc diameter. Adult eyes had a harder time with this low-contrast feature, but the kids all saw it easily.

DFAC member Howard Grodsky wasn't participating, but he dropped by to see how we were doing. He's chatting here with VP Jim Renn.

Speaking of which, Jim & Jean Renn generously provided a nice color ad for DFAC in the November 8th issue of In&Out magazine. DFAC thanks you!

We also got this free spot in the official schedule, just because were were one of the events. The more publicity, the better. Scott Loucks was there to hand out club brochures and answer questions. We gave out 50 brochures. Hopefully, some will generate new members. It was a great day, sunny and clear, and fun to do. I can see this becoming an annual event for DFAC.

Veterans Post 128, the Anthem group who hosted the event, later presented to DFAC this fine certificate acknowledging our participation.