The 2009 HMF was held on Saturday October 3rd from 4 to 9PM. There was a good turnout despite the heavy cloud cover and occasional drizzling. The attendance was 675 for 2009; (2008: 1325) & (2007: 850). All and all the event was a big success and MQHill felt that this year’s attendance was more manageable than last years. There was more one-on-one interaction with the staff and volunteers.
NewStar members that helped with the Astronomy end of the festival were; Alan, Stan and Terry. Several members called to see if they were needed. Thank you to everyone who helped this year and in past years. A summary of the NewStar activities are as follows;
The Douglas Dome was opened for exploring and questions from onlookers,
Several club brochures were handed out to interested parties (approx. one-third of the total attendance typically visits our astronomy displays).
Alan presented “The Moon – Past, Present & Future” at 5 and 7PM,
Photos of Comets, a Lunar Eclipse and NGC 6781/Planetary Nebula in Aquila (color photo taken with the clubs MQHill Douglas Dome C11/G11 - July, 2002: TJorgenson, TEby & TBecker) were displayed,
Two (2) video stands were displayed: 1) The Moon, South Pole near the designated LCROSS/LRO crash site (can you find it? – see www.spaceweather.com Oct. 8, 2009 for the answer),
and 2) Jupiter/Asteroid Impact; TJorgenson & AKroes (dark spot near the North Pole) and Dance of the Jovian Moons (not shown here), and
One (1) homemade Oshkosh apple pie delightfully consumed by the early NewStar helpers, and MQHill chili was provided free to the volunteers along with other treats.
Saturday appears to work well with expanded hours providing lower crowd density at any one time vs. prior Friday night celebrations.
The 2010 event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday September 25, 2010 from 4 to 9PM. The phase of the moon will be waning gibbous.
AND - The Sky Commander Encoder installation was started on Oct. 3rd and finished on Oct. 8th. Reference article here.