Viewing posts from March, 2009

Boy Scout Troop #49

On the 21st of February I took 22 Boy Scouts and 17 adults to the summit of Haleakala for a Tour of AEOS, FTN, and Mees as part of the requirements for their astronomy merit badge. After the tour we broke into three groups to work on a couple more requirements. I helped the boys learn the constellations and stars they needed to know for the badge. The amateur astronomers helped them pass of their telescope competency part and Dr. John Pye helped them observe with FTN. Observing on FTN was just to get them really fired up. I ran into some of the scouts a few weeks later and they asked me for the pictures that the troop took on Faulkes. I of course gave them a copy.

Thanks to Mark Elphick for helping out. For information on the Boy Scout astronomy merit badge requirements go to:

Sedgwick Telescope sees first factory light

On the evening of March 12, 2009, the Sedgwick telescope, looking outside from the doorway of the LCOGT warehouse, was put on sky for the first time.  As it was primarily a test for the drive system's tracking performance, the goal for the night was to point at a star and observe how long the scope could follow it in the sky.  After finding the star "Dubhe" in the eyepiece, it was determined that the telescope was tracking adequately after the star remained in the field of view (only starting to drift out after an hour or so).  This was impressive, considering the only alignment it had was based on a precision painted line of spray-paint on the warehouse floor. A bottle of bubbly was popped opened to celebrate.

IT maintenance

We would like to make all our users aware that we will be performing IT maintenance at 0500 UT on 11 March. This will mean some of our services will be unavailable (including the website and data archives).