Comet Lovejoy Party + Equip Festival 2015!!! [10 Jan 2015]

Alright, this is for sharing of your observation experience. Or, if you are arranging gatherings, star-gazing expeditions or just want some company to go observing together, you can shout it out here.
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jennifer1611991
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Re: Comet Lovejoy Party + Equip Festival 2015!!! [10 Jan 201

Post by jennifer1611991 »

Just wanted to say thanks for organizing such an awesome ob session for Comet Lovejoy! It was such a wonderful experience watching the public get excited over astronomy, and seeing fellow enthusiasts bringing their friends and family out to enjoy the clear skies. It really felt like a party/networking night/carnival/exhibition all in one; seasoned experts showing wide-eyed newbies how to operate the scopes and how astrophotography works, kids running around marveling at all the different telescopes, members of the public gasping with delight as they looked through the scopes to see M42 or Jupiter, old friends catching up, newbies chatting animatedly with the experts about astronomy and physics. A friend I brought to the ob session commented on how it seemed like a bubble of awesome formed around the field, and I couldn't agree more. What a lovely night of camaraderie, fun and wonder. Here's to more events like this!

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Re: Comet Lovejoy Party + Equip Festival 2015!!! [10 Jan 201

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Last edited by KKK26 on Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comet Lovejoy Party + Equip Festival 2015!!! [10 Jan 201

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Yes, it was a fantastic evening!

Considering that it was very rainy and cloudy in the previous days few days of the week (and in fact it's pouring now as I write), we were indeed blessed with clear skies right in the nick of time, from about 7.45pm all the way till about 10.45pm when clouds rolled-in and we started to pack-up.

I did a count of telescopes mid-way through the session: there were at least 43 telescopes then, with some more arriving later. So perhaps we did reach or exceed the 50 telescopes mark! It was probably the largest ever gathering of telescopes in Singapore's history, fitting for SG50. This shows that astronomy is very strong in Singapore, especially considering we're a small country that is so light-polluted.

Kudos to Remus, Singapore's untiring astronomy ambassador. I think only he can pull this type of event off, to organise it quickly and mobilise people, school groups, etc, and set up posters, name tags and so forth.

The highlight equipment was undoubtedly RLow's 22" dobsonian, making its public debut in Singapore, the largest in the republic. There was a constant line of about 10-20 people for hours, mostly passers-by, waiting to look through it. I managed to view the Great Orion Nebula through it; it was like watching a movie!

I had set-up my 12.5" Obsession and almost exclusively showed Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) throughout the evening to about 50-100 passers-by, tourists and locals alike, aged about 2 to 80, and for most of whom this was certainly their first ever viewing of a comet. I'm very glad that so many of the public saw the comet, and it may have sparked a life-long passion in a few of them, esp the young ones, for science, love of nature, astronomy. Who knows.

For the record, on that day (Sat 10 January 2015), the comet was at its brightest on the light-curve. It was reported by experienced comet observers elsewhere variously to have been at mag 3.7 to 4.1, averaging about mag 3.9. The comet culminated over Singapore at 9.44pm at 87 degrees about the northern horizon; at that moment, I lay down on the field and looked straight up and saw the comet in 10x42mm binos; no need to look for it as it was there right near the zenith. It was rare for a bright comet to be seen so high up in the sky during full darkness from Singapore, hence this comet party and side-walk.

In the eyepiece through the 12.5" dob, the comet's coma was bright, large and easily seen by everyone. It was diffuse but had an almost star-like point of a condensed centre. No tail was seen however, only a slight protusion from the coma. I found it remarkable that 2-3 kids of about 3-8 yrs old remarked, without prompting, that it was "green". Perhaps young children's eyesight, including colour perception, is keener than adults', for to me and others, the green colour was subtle at best.

Comet aside, I was glad to see so many old-timers there, many of whom I've not met-up for years.

CP2015 was indeed a great and memorable success!

Here are some photos:

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Re: Comet Lovejoy Party + Equip Festival 2015!!! [10 Jan 201

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Oh wow...I don't need to post any reports now. Everyone has been enthusiastically doing it. :)

Thanks to Remus and his galaxy team of volunteers for organizing the event and bringing back memories of our last event Mars Watch 20003. It most certainly had not been easy managing the resources and getting the required permits to hold the event but he and his team shone through. Certainly it has proven to be a suitable venue! I personally counted over 48 scopes and that excludes some being set up, so I concur with Gavin there should be over 50 after final tally!

The earlier rain had been very threatening but miraculously cleared up for a fine evening of comet watching. I was there with my tiny C6 and thanks to a kind soul who used an unconventional method to help me locate Lovejoy (did not catch his name, I call him the "C5"!) , so I managed to show it to a few people who did not want to join the loooooooong queue to view through rlow's 22 incher... Sadly I did not manage to catch it on his scope due to the long queue as I had to man my own scope.

As for the execution, many members of the public turned up so the publicity engine was great plus Remus added the special touch of providing name tags and even telescope description materials. Kudos to Junwei who managed to get a correct one for me even though I changed scope at the last minute :)

Good to have met so many of the old Singastro members though. Many did come out of the woodwork after hiding behind some dust lane for so many years. I had a good time showing off Lovejoy, Jupiter and M44 and was wonderful to have met so many fellow astronomers as well as eager public members too.

Here is a big THANK YOU and WELL DONE for organising the event!
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Re: Comet Lovejoy Party + Equip Festival 2015!!! [10 Jan 201

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Re: Comet Lovejoy Party + Equip Festival 2015!!! [10 Jan 201

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Re: Comet Lovejoy Party + Equip Festival 2015!!! [10 Jan 201

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Re: Comet Lovejoy Party + Equip Festival 2015!!! [10 Jan 201

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