Last weekend, on the 28th and 29th of September, members of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh turned out to support the annual open days at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. The Society has a good relationship with the ROE and for the past few years we have been invited to attend the open days to help promote astronomy to the general public, as well as to publicise the Society.
On Saturday Ken, Peter, Alan E and Scott all supported the event by manning a telescope looking at the moon, as well as the Society’s solar telescope and, in the afternoon, the Institute for Astronomy’s LX90 with a 2 part filter system which gave the public closer views of the current solar activity. In addition there was a stall set up with various member-produced materials for the public to take away including information about the Society, a planisphere kit, a sundial kit, a list of useful astronomical websites and information on upcoming lectures held by the Society. On Sunday, Ken and Peter were joined by Rachel, and had all 3 scopes working throughout the day showing variously, the sun and the moon. The reaction to views through the telescopes was, as always, very encouraging with lots of comments along the lines of “wow!”, “is that really the sun?!” and “amazing!”
Over the course of the two days 3,500 people came through the gates of the observatory and the chance to help enthuse that many people in the subject of astronomy is one that the Society never passes up! Our thanks go to the ROE staff and volunteers who always make us so welcome, and to those members who supported the Society’s attendance at the event through manning telescopes and creating and printing materials for the public to take away.