KAS Supports The Tioga County Relay for Life 2011

Once again, the KAS has supported the Tioga County Relay for life. Every year the KAS tries to support The Tioga County Relay for Life to celebrate the nearly 11 million cancer survivors in the United States. This event provides the opportunity to increase cancer awareness, to celebrate those who have survived, and to remember those who have not survived.

Each Year the KAS sets up a tent and numerous telescopes to provide people with the chance to observe the moon, planets, deep space objects, and of course safe solar observing during the day. A nice attraction and distraction during the overnight relay event.

To Find out more information on the Tioga County Relay for Life visit: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=29431&pg=entry

A really special thanks to KAS Member Art Cacciola for once again representing the KAS and Kopernik at this great event!

Here is a summary of the event support for 2011:

I just got home from the Tioga County Relay for Life at Owego H.S..  I had two scopes set up, the Orion 120mm refractor and an 8″Dob.  There was no rain, except a little drizzle around 9:45 AM when I was putting everything away.  We did not even have dew form through the night!  I never had to go into my tent or unroll my sleeping bag.  Unfortunately, due to the cloudy skies, except for some white light viewing of the sun and sunspots, there was no astronomical viewing.

Even so, I handed out papers and talked to many people.  I am always amazed to hear so many people remember what they had seen in the past at the relay and that they look forward to looking through the scopes.  Some said because of the relay they hand visited Kopernik with their children.  Others say they will certainly do so in the future, especially this summer.

The highlight of the night was the view of the top of the flagpole with flag and ball.  People were impressed with being able to see the slotted screw (26mm ep) and under high power (5.2mm ep) the hex set screw.  Kids were impressed with my green laser and operated the Dob to view the scoreboard, other displays, even the screen diagonally across the field on the opposite end – they were reading the screen – even while it was not a normal read (in the mirror of the Dob with a diagonal).

Being the die-hard optimist, I manned the scopes checking for a break in the clouds until around 5:15 AM.  I had hoped to see Saturn, the Moon and other brighter objects during the night and Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Neptune before dawn.  Even as I packed up, people came by to thank me and offer condolences on the poor sky conditions.  I just told them wait till next year, but in the interim why not go up to visit Kopernik on a clear Friday night.

The organizers thanked me and are genuinely pleased that we show up every year. The custodial and relay staff was careful with placement of the lights used to illuminate the path.  They offered to turn out the parking lot lights before 10 PM, but with the sky the way it was, I told them it was not necessary.

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