by Rene Gedaly
HAS Texas 45 Coordinator, WSIG Co-chair
From beginning 'til end, it was a whirlwind trip through the Texas 45 winter list. Not all of us made 10 objects—it was the first days of spring, after all, but we all did become hooked on visual astronomy.
We started with an overview of the Texas 45 program requirements in the observatory, continued with planisphere and star chart skills, and then moved to the field for naked eye and binocular observations. By astronomical twilight no student was interested in using a GoTo scope—they wanted to keep finding objects themselves. What a class!
Speaking of class, this first group of students included Lisa Herrington, daughter Lauren Herrington, Ingrid Schenkel, daughter Sophie Schenkel, Jenifer Head, boyfriend Lane Harrison, and Sherry Irby, who completed 10 objects on the Texas 45 winter list her second time out. Kudos to all!
I'd also like to thank my WSIG Co-chair Amelia Goldberg on her 8" pink scope and fellow instructor Steve Goldberg on his 10" Dobsonian.They both gave much appreciated one-on-one time with students. As for me, I was back and forth between students using binoculars in the parking lot and showing students how to use their star charts with the observatory 12.5" reflector. From what I could see, we must have some serious writers in the group. I can hardly wait to read their logs.
The date for the spring class is April 22 and you can RSVP now to [email protected]. The Texas 45 class is conducted by the co-chairs of the WSIG and is open to all members of HAS. It seems two or so students per instructor is the sweet spot, so we won’t be able to expand the class to more than 6 students…unless we draft more instructors. Hmm.