Friday, September 12, 2008
Stars spotted at Great Brook Farm State Park
Thursday night, the weather cooperated and, as the sun set, over a dozen amateur astronomers brought telescopes to Great Brook Farm State Park to host a public star party (see photo, page 1.) At the event many children and adults learned about telescopes and viewed the moon, Jupiter and star clusters.
The star party was organized by members of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston, ATMOB. This group, founded in 1934, is known for building their own telescopes to study the heavens. Several of the telescopes on display or mechanisms to mount and move the telescopes had been made by hand. Children marveled at the moon’s craters, Jupiter’s moons and the horizontal bands across Jupiter. Double stars and star clusters were also witnessed.
Other amateur astronomers, several from Carlisle, also brought their telescopes. Steve Golson and his son, Jacob, set up their scope, along with Marc Lamere and ex-Carlislean Roy Watson. Watson, whose children accompanied him, said he liked spending time this way with his kids.
One ATMOB member, Neil Fleming, controlled his telescope via his laptop computer. He typed in what set of stars he wanted to look at and the telescope automatically revolved to a location where those stars could be seen. Fleming is also an astro-photographer. He displayed a number of fantastic, colorful images of planets, nebula and solar systems. One image had required a 42-hour exposure.
Children and adults drifted from scope to scope, seeing a variety of images, many exclaiming about the wonders they were seeing. A video about astronomy was playing at the park’s Interpretive Center.
For more information on ATMOB, go to www.atmob.org. Click on “Gallery” to see photos of stars and nebulae. ∆
© 2008 The