Public Viewing with AAS at UMD, October 8th, 2010
On the very clear and mild evening of October 8th, members of the A.A.S. met at the U.M.D. Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium. The telescopes included a 16 inch Discovery Dob, a 10 and two 8 inch Orion Dobs, a 6 inch Dob, and a 5 inch Dob. The bright lights of the parking lot made it difficult to see any deep sky objects, however, Jupiter was brilliant and everyone enjoyed seeing a shadow transit of the planet by the moon Io. The transit lasted about one and a half hours. When Io began to reemerge from the planets disc, it looked like a white bulge on the side of Jove. About 40 visitors came to look through the many instruments. This included many college students, who were very interested to learn about the night sky. Children were fascinated with the telescopic views of Jupiter. The planetarium director, Howard Mooers had his laptop hooked up to a Robo Dome with an 11 inch telescope inside. At one point, the Robo Dome stuck in its sideway motion and required maintenance up on the roof of the science building. Overall the evening was a very successful and fun astronomy event.