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Viewing the cosmos

June 19, 2010 2 comments

Most National Parks have educational programs that are free and interesting.  One thing about Dinosaur NM is the lack of light pollution, especially the eastern sky where the nightime “dark” is as good or better than any other location in the US.  So, the Park puts on a “Viewing the Cosmos” program, which has been well attended.

The program is put on by Niles and Bobby Allen, who are volunteers and put these shows on at different locations.  Niles brought his big scope (see picture) which is quite amazing.  Also, the Park provides several high quality night scopes to add additional capability.

We were able to see many objects in detail, including the moon, mars, Venus, and Saturn.  On Saturn you could even see the rings and two of its moons through the big scope.

In addition to viewing, Niles did an interesting presentation on the cosmos, pointing out the various stars, constellations, and planets.  Some people decided to lay on the ground for easier viewing; it was interesting to see about 20 people lying on the ground, looking up!  A very interesting (and free) program put on by the parks!

Dusk, time to set up the various telescopes. Framework of the big scope visible as well.

Claudia, our always smiling and helpful Park Ranger

The big 'scope, almost ready for viewing, Niles doing the set up

Tried to take a hand held picture through the scope, not well centered but you get the idea. This was the mid sized 'scope.

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