Presentation on theme: "EXPERIENCES WITH ORGANIZING FOR THE MAY 29, 2011 EUDORA OCCULTATION Terrence R. Redding, Ph.D. Redding South Observatory West Palm Beach, Florida USA."— Presentation transcript:
EXPERIENCES WITH ORGANIZING FOR THE MAY 29, 2011 EUDORA OCCULTATION Terrence R. Redding, Ph.D. Redding South Observatory West Palm Beach, Florida USA
A Learning Experience Personal Experience Group Experience – IOTA – Astronomical Society of the Palm Beaches – South Florida Science Museum – Extending the experience Media Other organizations
Routine Events Framework Monthly web page – Report on past events – observations, misses and positive Detailed results of both hits and misses – building interest because we make a difference Predicted events, highlighting a few occultations and grazes for the Palm Beaches High ranked, bright events, Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning or before midnight events.
Palm Beaches Occultations
Palm Beaches Occultations, cont.
Occultations as Mental Candy High Self-Directed Learning – with the right person and circumstances = intensive learning Learning situations emerge from organizing circumstances Occultations appear easy to do Can be done with small scopes, accurate time and recording device Done from home or mobile
Natural Phases of HSDL Focused Learning Period of preparation Period of planning Period of practice Period of execution Period of evaluation Period of reflection Period of recommitment or intentional abandonment
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event (Preparation Phrase) April 6 th shared the formal reporting requirements of Wanda, announced April would be a quiet month and indicated Eudora May 29 th would be an excellent event to plan for (late Saturday, early Sunday morning) May 4 th – Eudora announced as a world class event – offered four mobile stations for club use for those without scopes – invited all to do it from home – coordinate with me
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont.
May 9 th five observers were committed in the Palm Beaches and I had decided to abandon my home 14 station to go mobile with the 70mm occultation scopes and fill in some holes in the distribution. May 11 th a school science teacher joins the group. May 13 th the South Florida Science Museum expressed interest in the event
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 14 th the Science Museum asked for help May 16 th the local CBS affiliate picked up the story and wanted to do an interview, film the event and a follow-up story after the event May 16 th I suggested the Science Museum open the event up to area science programs and I or someone from the club could serve as a resource person and guide them through attempting the occultation from the Museum
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 16 th the Science Museum was offered canned material from IOTA to use as an example for CBS and a promise of a camera, KIWI GPS and camcorder for their C14 May 17 th local observatory operator advised against using the 14 from the Science Museum citing poor tracking and little prospect of actually seeing anything
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 18 th and 18 stations committed. I learned I had to be a OW coordinator to enter more than ten stations – feeling the power (-: May 19 th, Pre-point being prepared and shared – May 22 nd committed one station to the Science Museum to insure they were represented
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 23 rd another club member announces he has two Mighty-Minis, PC164CEX-2 (KPC- SLL650BHE) cameras, Knight Owl focal reducers and Canon camcorders May 24 th learned a club member fell off a ladder, suffered brain damage and was in intensive care. May 24 th comparing pre-point charts
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 25 th observers testing their equipment and practicing pre-pointing, recording, time signals May 26 th others calling for more observers, commenting that chords are filling in nicely May 26 th IOTA call for observers more than 700 km from the path to attempt the event May 27 th final instructions to new observers on recording the event
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 28 th general call to other observers not normally involved in occultations to observe May 28 th final station practice, coordination and general encouragement May 28 th moth flys through the FOV May 28 th field deployment with a close watch on the weather May 28 th last minutes stations start calling to join the effort
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 29 th locked in a state park waiting for the ranger to let me out – first pre-point complete May 29 th second pre-point complete May 29 th cell phone calls from other Palm Beaches observers – all set – 41 stations coordinated for the event May 29 th 15 minutes past the event and miss reports start coming in
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 29 th with the miss reports comes double checking station data and preparation – trying to figure out what happened May 29 th observed – no occultation – over and over May 29 th observers assume the miss was their fault, wrong star field, inattention, bumped scope – out of time – but still fun to try
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 29 th 12 PM first definite report of a miss on the net and a call for all reports to include miss reports May 29 1 PM guess of substantial path shift and the question What happened? May 29 th more miss reports and confirmation that observers are psyched for these and will keep trying
Timeline for the Eudora, May 29th event, cont. May 29 th 8 PM explanations of bright star and problems with astrometry suggested May 29 th 11 PM detailed reports of experiences start coming in May 30 th 2 AM positive north Florida 1.3 path shift north May 30 th 11 AM second guessing message confirm what if and only if and a commitment to try again
Lessons Learned Is a 97% ranked occultation that likely to be observed – always warn observers of the possibility of a path shift Be prepared for non-occultation types to become interested in your activities - Lesson plans and handouts would be very helpful Plan to be a resource person for the local education group – support allows them to participate
Lessons Learned, cont. Be prepared to enable to learning experiences of others – those interested in doing a first time occultation Be aware that learning occurs during planning, practice, execution, evaluation and reflection Seek a continuing commitment to learning and future events Build a relationship with the local media
Candy for the Mind
Review of the Experience In the past we have been called stamp collectors and indeed many of us are Others like to compute the path, or analyze the results As an educator I experience an occultation in a different way than many – though an amateur astronomer I am also an educator And as a social scientist focused on HSDL, I place these experiences within a formal analytical framework
Implications for IOTA Being aware of the educational opportunities embedded within an event should place IOTA in a better position to encourage educational organizations to incorporate occultations into lesson plans, curriculums and programs of instruction Being aware of the powerful learning that occurs during an occultation should improve IOTAs ability to secure educational related funding.