Log, May 6, 2005

No people. All week long the weather forecast for tonight has deteriorated. I really hoped that we had a chance to open for an hour or two but by 6 PM the weather radar showed intense bands of rain as close as Montauk Point.

For reasons which confuse me, it seems that every scouting, school and after school activity has scheduled a night at Frosty Drew Observatory during the month of May. Initially they were distributed across the whole month but rain will tend to bunch them up towards the end. If all the people who say they are coming actually arrive on the same night, the count could come to well over 500 kids plus 70 to 100 adults. If you managed to line the kids up and have them climb the stand to reach the telescope, put their eye to the ocular, see something and then exit at a rate of one kid a minute (quite fast in fact) it will take 10 hours to get from the back of the line to the front.

I have explained that May really isn't the best month for viewing in spite of generally pleasant temperatures. The Sun sets very late and at a very shallow angle because we are only weeks away from the solstice. This means that the Sun stays up after 8 PM and doesn't get down far enough for the western glow to disappear until after 10 PM by the last Friday of the month. I have had people ask why we chose such a late hour to open when the weather is nice. Mother Nature set this schedule.

So if you come, be forewarned it may be crowded. And if you are among the astronomical cognoscenti, yours truly will try to put you to work. If nothing else, I'll have you stand in the lawn with a long sharp stick labeled NORTH and have you point at Polaris.

That being said, the last time so many kids were scheduled to come the numbers were far fewer. Who can tell .... well I'm not Lamont from Cranston no matter how shadowy it gets. [Younger folks should ask a friendly neighborhood geezer what I am talking about.]

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
May 6, 2005
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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