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Report From St. Louis – Day 3 June 3, 2008

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
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There were a number of IYA sessions today. I’ll distill the most important things here.

There’s an IYA program called From the Earth to the Universe, the goal of which is to put Astronomical images in non-traditional places. The display can be designed for your place (library, mall, public park…) by the commission, so you don’t have to do any design work. However, you have to pay printing costs. While they’re willing to pu the displays in more traditional areas like science centers, the real goal is to put it in unusual areas, like parks or bus stations,

I got to see the prototype Galileoscope today. It is definitely a much better working scope than the Project Star ‘scopes. The images suffer very little chromatic aberration, and give a bright image. The lights were a little too close to really get a good focus, so I can’t really fully judge the image. They really do need a mount, but the final version will include a quarter-20 thread so it can be mounted to a standard camera tripod. There are a number of other features that I believe will make this an incredibly valuable teaching tool, of great value for years to come.
There is however a possible problem for the UM Theme Semester. The earliest they can reasonably expect to deliver the ‘scopes in March of next year. There’s a chance, if they get a lot of commitments now, that the date could be pushed earlier, but there is an equally great possibility that something will happen to delay it even longer.

Fiannly, the ended with a public lecture by Dava Sobel, Author of Galileo’s Daughter. Her talk was topical, educational, and highly entertaining. I think I’ll have to pick up that book as soon as I finish Udolpho.

After I posted this I checked the IYA website, and there are two things there I should have included above.

The galileoscope info is now online. There’s a news item at the site root, http://www.astronomy2009.org/ or go to it directly at http://www.astronomy2009.org/cornerstone-projects-mainmenu-80/the-galileoscope-mainmenu-83.html

On the main site you can also see the trailer, in youtube format. If that doesn’t suit, try http://www.astronomy2009.org/index.php/?option=com_content&view=article&id=378

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