Lunar Eclipse Star Party

From: (John Gallagher)
Subject: Lunar Eclipse Star Party
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 13:22:47 -0700

Here are some ideas for tonight's eclipse parties.
SEPT. 26   7:00-9:00

Here are some activities to try tonight (from a handout I'll give to all
attendees to work on -- we have 3 scopes and last event we had 500 people
show up!) while watching the lunar eclipse:

1. Eclipsing Moon:  Watch the moon as it rises in partial eclipse. Observe
its color changes as it becomes more and more eclipsed.  Look through the
telescope and describe the features on the surface of the moon.

2. Colors of the Moon: Describe the different colors of the moon during the
eclipse.  Atmospheric pollution can have an effect on these colors.  Share
this information with your class and have your teacher send the information
to the high school to be shared with other schools via the Internet.

3. Total Lunar Eclipse: Observe the moon with your unaided eyes and through
the telescope.   Describe the moon's appearance and share your writing with
your class.

4. Jupiter: Jupiter is the bright object due south. Observe Jupiter through
the telescope.  Describe the appearance of the planet and its moons.  How
many moons do you see?  Draw what you see.

5. Saturn:  Saturn is the bright object right next to the moon.  Notice how
Saturn becomes visible during the total lunar eclipse.  During the hours
before and after tonight's eclipse, Saturn is too difficult to see because
of the brightness of the full moon.  Look at Saturn through the telescope.
Describe what you see.

6. Star Count: Calculate the approximate number of stars visible tonight
during the total lunar eclipse.  Follow the directions below to do this.
        a. Look through the paper tube (available from a high school student).
        b. Count the number of stars that you see.
        c. Repeat this for a total of 15 areas of the sky.
        d. Add your totals together.
        e. Multiply by 10.
        f. Share this approximate total of visible stars with your class
and have your              teacher send this information to the high school
to share on the Internet.

John Gallagher