Pascoe Vale Update

I thought my next series of posts would focus on some of the schools to give you an update on some of the things each school has been doing. Everyone is different – exploring different astronomical objects, having a different focus or just a different approach. I hope you enjoy them.

First up is Pascoe Vale Girls College

The Rephract Group designed their own badge with the telescope as their symbol. They made me an honorary member of which I am honoured to be a part of.

The Rephract Group designed their own badge with the telescope as their symbol. They made me an honorary member of which I am honoured to be a part of.

Many of the girls in the Rephract Group (science club) last year were completing year 12. Almost all went on to study in a STEM field and Mahdooshi is even studying Astronomy at Monash. A fantastic achievement by all the girls and we a so pleased to see you move into the fields of Science and Technology.

So this means that this year we have a new group of girls learning the ropes on the telescope. The telescope also has a new home, a special room built to store the telescope and equipment just a few meters from the observing sight and a clear view into the new Physics lab, so the students are inspired on a daily basis.

Pascoe Vale Girls College telescope tucked up in bed for the night.

Pascoe Vale Girls College telescope tucked up in bed for the night.

The group still meets regularly every second Tuesday night and when they can’t use the telescope to view the sky or take photos, they are practicing their alignment process with the guidance from Gaby who is now in Year 9 and last night they signed up to this blog. So this post is dedicated to all the new followers from Pascoe Vale Girls College.

Second viewing night of the year and unfortunately it was a cloudy one. We weren’t able to see any stars or planets but that didn’t stop us from teaching our new members how to use the telescope. The Rephract members started off by demonstrating how to use the telescope and then allowing the new members to take a shot at it. Many of the new members have begun to learn the basics of the telescope, meaning the Rephract Team is making progress. With constant quizzes and lots of practice the new members were able to understand how to setup the telescope. The Rephract Team of Pascoe Vale Girls is making progress in teaching other students to use the telescope as well as to earn their telescope license.

Saumaya Fernando, Gabby Iocco and Samantha Pintarich; Rephract team; Pascoe Vale Girls College.

The girls from Pascoe Vale Girls College Rephract Group learning how to use the telescope on a cloudy night.

The girls from Pascoe Vale Girls College Rephract Group learning how to use the telescope on a cloudy night.

On the 10th of June 2014, ten girls attended the Telescope Viewing Night. Throughout this occasion, various students aligned the telescope, to view numerous planets and star clusters. Girls were able to take pictures of planets such as Jupiter and the moon, as sharp detailed images. Initially, we viewed a hazy Jupiter which was low on the horizon. We also saw three of Jupiter’s moons. To continue, we observed the moon and its craters and managed to capture fantastic photos. We attempted to view Mars and its tiny robots; however clouds disabled us to do so. Saturn was assessed afterwards, with amazingly vivid rings. As we geeks say, Jupiter loved Saturn so much, it put a ring on it! Lastly, we had a quick glance at the Jewel Box deep sky star cluster. Overall it was a productive and thrilling night, most worthy of attending (although the team of students were very very cold).

Maryam El-Ali (Year 10) took this image of the Moon with her phone through the telescope.

Maryam El-Ali (Year 10) took this image of the Moon with her phone through the telescope.

By Maryam El-Ali (Year 10) and Olivia White (Year 9)

Olivia White at the telescope helm during an amazingly clear Winter night.

Olivia White at the telescope helm during an amazingly clear Winter night.

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