2010 Mid-South Star Gaze Page
Here are a few pictures I took Friday afternoon while attending the 2010 Mid-South Star Gaze at the Rainwater Observatory in French Camp, MS. I think there were over 90 people registered for the event and there were amateur astronomers from all over the United States there. There was a good contention from Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, and many other states. It was a huge learning experience for me both from the seminars and the individual astronomers. Seeing was fair on Wednesday night, great on Thursday night, Fair on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Jim Hill, the Director of Rainwater Observatory put on another great star gaze. On Wednesday evening Edwin Faughn talked about the Visions of Orion and then we were able to go out and observe it. Then on Thursday Dan Llewellyn from Telescope Atlanta talked on Planetary Imaging Basics, and Dr. Bill Keel from the University of Alabama Physics and Astronomy Department gave talks on The Galaxy Zoo (galaxyzoo.com) and Colliding Galaxies. I would like to thank Dan Llewellyn for collimating my scope and showing me how to do it. On Friday Dan Llewellyn gave another talk on Planetary Imaging, Advanced Techniques. He actually showed us how to use Registax and Photoshop to process images of Saturn taken the night before. Richard Jakiel gave a good presentation on Earth, the First 2 Billion Years. That evening Dr. Chris Sirola from the University of Southern Mississippi Physics and Astronomy Department gave a presentation on What If?, which really got your thinking. Dave Teske gave a Sky Lore presentation that evening. It was cloudy Friday evening and Jim Hill gave a presentation in the Planetarium. A group of teachers met with us Friday and Saturday to get CEU's. On Saturday morning Dr. John Frassinelli put on a Hands-On Astronomy Activities Workshop. We had a very good meeting of the Friends of Rainwater that was very productive. Later that afternoon Dr. Joan Schmelz from the University of Memphis Physics and Astronomy Department gave a presentation on The Women of Harvard College Observatory. I will admit I attended this presentation with hesitation, but it was very informative on all of the great scientific work these women did to further the field of astronomy. After supper, Dr. Gerrit Verschuur gave a presentation on Galactic Neutral Hydrogen and the Cosmic Background Radiation. As you can tell by the quality of the speakers, this made for a very good star gaze. I ate my meals at the Lodge at French Camp Academy and the food was superb. Of course I got my Big Willy at the Council House Cafe on Wednesday evening. The best part of the star gaze was making new friends.
A big thanks goes out to the staff and students of French Camp Academy for their help and support of the 2010 Mid-South Star Gaze!