by Dave Skitt, Observatory Chairperson
The State of New Jersey closed our public state park buildings. This is part of the COVID 19 virus response. AAAP delayed the opening of our observatory for Friday Night Public Observing for your safety. This delay will remain in effect until NJ lifts the group congregation restriction.
All is not lost; the skies will remain open. How you might ask? Through the marvel of telescope technology and the internet.
AAAP recently assembled “the outreach scope” from a pre-owned Orion ED 80 refractor and iOptron AZM Pro mount. We equipped it with a flip mirror and the clubs’ Starlight Xpress Ultrastar C camera.
Appearing in this months edition of Sidereal Times is, Novice EAA Imager Captures Rare, Unseen Astronomical Phenomenon. There I describe the pleasure to dabble with the scope and learn how to use it. Inspired by my church switching to online video services, I have now learned how to broadcast live streaming video from the Ultrastar camera to the internet.
I invite you to check out our club’s Twitter page (@Princetonastro). Our social media is your temporary observatory gateway. Using Twitter, we will observe together over the next several Friday nights. I will be live broadcasting night sky views from my home observatory, weather permitting.
Together we wait for the AAAP observatory to re-open. There, we can share the stellar photons at the eyepiece. For the meanwhile, I hope you will join me in this technological substitute.