Saturday, April 2, 2011

More on the XT6i

Aurora, finally over her initial thrill of getting a new toy, slowed down long enough for me to educate her on finding objects.  Once she realized how easy it is with the Intelliscope object locator, I was shoved away and she went ape on the sky.  In a matter of minutes she had perused M42, M45, NGC2024, and then for grins was star hopping!  I didn't even teach her that yet!  We had spent the last several days looking at constellation charts, naming major stars, having her draw the constellations out, and point out object locations.  So far we've covered Leo, Orion, Taurus, Scorpius, and Ursa Major.  I didn't think she was paying attention fully, but apparently I was very wrong.  What was even more amazing was now that she had connected the constellation drawings with what was in the sky, she was able to identify what I had done on her walls a year ago (I mapped her whole room accurately with the constellations, using a special kit of glowing stars that illuminate the room at night).  We must have spent another 15 minutes with the lights off, and her talking me through the constellations.  And not just constellations - she was pointing out where in the conestellations the nebulas were!  She's going to have star hopping down better than I ever have.  She's starting to relate the objects in the eyepiece with what I've shown her on my live "preview" screen on my CCD output since the short exposures are comperable to a live view through a scope.  I think she finally caught the astronomy bug.

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