October 8th Lunar Eclipse

The second Lunar Eclipse for the year and I am very excited to bring you some of the images and stories from the TiS schools that were involved.

At Pascoe Vale Girls College, the girls from the Rephract group had organised a big community event with a special guest speaker, Dr Pamela Gay or Star Stryder, a planetary scientist from the USA, hosted by Peter Lake of iTelescope. Then there was to be lots of observing of the eclipse afterwards over a coffee and biscuit.

Wednesday October 8th saw Melbournians treated to a second Lunar Eclipse for 2014. Here at Pascoe Vale Girls, the Telescope group – Rephract – hosted a special Star Party to celebrate the event. Over 100 people attended.

Myself, Dr Pamela Gay and Peter Lake waiting for the clouds to clear at Pascoe Vale Girls College.

Myself, Dr Pamela Gay and Peter Lake waiting for the clouds to clear at Pascoe Vale Girls College.

We were lucky enough to host Dr Pamela Gay from Southern Illinois University who came and spoke with us about her work in mapping the moon in high resolution and her intense passion for astronomy.

Congratulations to our newly inducted members of our Rephract group who received their telescope licence and Rephract badges on the night: Rameen Ali (8H), Vaneeza Ali (Grade 5 Westbreen Primary School), Maryam El-Ali (10C), Dayna Foote (12H), Saumaya Mall (10H), Mehrnaz Mirmoayedi (11E), Emily Reynolds (12A), Katie Tran (12J) and Olivia White (9G).

The girls at Pascoe Vale Girls College receiving their telescope licence.

The girls at Pascoe Vale Girls College receiving their telescope licence.

Sadly the weather was against us for the most part on the evening with lots of cloud cover. That didn’t stop Dr Gay talking to everyone and inspiring us about astronomy and science! Thankfully, we had glimpses of the moon through the clouds during the evening which caused much cheering!

Eclipsed moon taken at Pascoe Vale Girls College.

Eclipsed moon taken at Pascoe Vale Girls College.

Thank you to all of the students, staff, former students (and staff), parents, friends and members of the community who joined us on the evening. It certainly made it a special night! Thank you to the members of the science faculty who helped in the organisation of the evening.

Lastly, thank you to all the members of Rephract, who helped plan, organise and host the evening. We couldn’t have had such a successful event without all your work.

Stay tuned for the next Telescopes in Schools Event!

Miss Louise Ankers, Mrs Anne O’Keefe and Mr Glen Ivers

Images taken by Emily Reynolds Yr 12, Madhooshi Senarath (PVGC and Rephract Alumni)

At Gisborne Secondary College another community event was organised and with clearer skies, some amazing Astrophotography was undertaken.

Dale Barry and student getting ready for the Lunar Eclipse at Gisborne Secondary College.

Dale Barry and student getting ready for the Lunar Eclipse at Gisborne Secondary College.

On Wednesday 8th October the weather was threatening as the staff at Gisborne Secondary College moved their two telescopes outside in position for a spring lunar eclipse. Ran and an overcast sky did not promise for a brilliant sky show for all that attended! After a quick view of the moon through patchy clouds, people moved inside to view some movie clips on lunar eclipses and grab a hot drink. About 8:45pm the sky miraculously cleared and observers witnessed the Earth’s shadow creep slowly over the moon’s surface. One telescope was dedicated for digital imaging, while the other, a 300mm ‘Meade’ computerised scope provided by Melbourne University’s astrophysics department, delivered excellent views of the event. All budding astronomers that attended the night were rewarded by their patience and enthusiasm. The night concluded at 11:25pm with almost 300 images being taken by the people that attended.

Dale Barry

The Lunar Eclipse seen at Gisborne. Images taken by Dale Barry through 8" telescope with DSLR camera.

The Lunar Eclipse seen at Gisborne. Images taken by Dale Barry through 8″ telescope with DSLR camera.