Starparty Webcasts

The last few days have been very busy for anyone doing anything for the 100 Hours of Astronomy or MoonWatch. I'm no exception. I've been helping out online by trying to keep the 100Hours twitter account updated with info about things happening around the world as well as help with the pre-recorded video for a segment of the 24 hour Observatory webcast (I even got to be in the background on a live bit too). As I mentioned in my previous post, last night I was also at my local starparty and had a great time there.

Once our starparty had finished I couldn't go to bed. I knew that elsewhere in Europe, Africa and the Americas, events were still going on and the 100Hours twitter should continue to provide updates.

I spent the early hours of the morning visiting the live starparty webcasts around the world. I particularly enjoyed the one hosted by Elias Jordan in Wichita, Kansas. He did a really great job showing the people watching on Ustream demos of how to make a telescope, the telescopes that his club have and he even got live images of the Moon through an eye-piece of a telescope for us. He made sure that he interacted with the people in the Ustream chat and encouraged interaction between the viewers and the people at the astronomy club in Kansas as well as linking up with the live webcast from the Netherlands. This was all in the spirit of the 100 Hours of Astronomy bringing people around the world together through a shared interest in the night sky.

As well as the astronomy club live starparties, the 100 Hours of Remote Astronomy were still in full swing too. My experience of this was through the brilliantly enthusiastic Gianluca Masi of the Bellatrix Observatory south of Rome. Gianluca had turned over his remote observing business to free public use for much of the 100 Hours. His webcast combined audio, video, chat and live screencasting so that everyone could see what was happening at his observatory. There were some really nice shots of Saturn, the Sombrero Galaxy, the Ring Nebula whilst I was watching. Gianluca was a great host and obviously enjoyed showing his audience around the night sky with his telescopes.

Eventually, at about 4am, I left (I still had a long drive to do) so that I could get some sleep in time for SunDay. More on that in the next post.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 05th Apr 2009 (20:48 BST) | Permalink
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