re: Big Bopper

From: (Marilyn Kennedy)
Subject: re: Big Bopper
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 18:59:06 -0500

The Big Bopper--
What a perfect name! It is an awesome sight!

Tuesday afternoon Comet Hale Bopp was the topic under discussion in the Ask
a Scientist series of videoconference with host Pat Reiff from Rice
University. It was a very close-up and personal CU conference  since it was
just "her" speaking to us from her office. We even met her little girl.
Patricia talked about Hale Bopp in particularand comets in general. She
really focused on her audience ,i.e. the students. She was very patient
with their questions, answering all their inquires with "easy to
understand" answers. We had been getting ready for the appearance of
Hale-Bopp since January, and this conference was the perfect vehicle for
bringing it all together.

 I went outside early Wednesday morning (5am) and stood on my deck, sipping
my coffee and looking at this spectacular comet with its showy tail. Living
in a rural area without the problems of light pollution, Hale-Bopp was so
easy to see. What a fabulous sight! I came to school that morning and
shared my experience with my kids. We checked out some of the web sites
Patricia had suggested, and my kids were becoming more fascinated by the
moment. So with the forecast of clear skies for Thursday morning, we had a
reverse star party. I sent home a note and called all my parents, and
invited them and their children to join me Thursday morning at the school.
Our star party would be followed with a carry in breakfast.

There were all were this morning 5am out on top of our school hill,
greeting Comet Hale Bopp. The skies were clear and parents and children
enjoyed the sight. The students were also able to see Mars quite clearly
and everything seemed to come together so perfectly.Though we have nothing
like a telescope,  many parents brough binoculars and the kids really like
getting a close up view of its tail.

 Inside, I had daisy chained about 6 computers so parents could check out
the Hale Bopp web sites. The students enjoyed "showing their parents" the
really cool sites and telling their parents all about comets. We drank
coffee, shared donuts and muffins and other breakkfast goodies. It really
was a great way to start the day.

So here at JWE we got to see this spectacular comet together, early one
morning, here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Marilyn K. Wall
John Wayland Elementary
Bridgewater, Virginia