Observatory.  Valerie quickly agreed, though I told her I would have to clear it with the Lowbrows and that I would provide her with an outline of that evenings events.
I brought the outline to the March Meeting of the Lowbrows and gave it to Mark Deprest to set it before the Club for passage.  Where, it was then passed.  April came at the Church; the service auction was held and like many other services sold that day so was also a family outing at the Peach Mountain Observatory compliments of the University Lowbrow Astronomers.  These services are sold by a closed bid system so it wasn't until a Month and a half later that I learned the name of the family that bid highest for the service to be rendered.  The family's name was Bruce and Sara Gibb.
               Contact was made with the Gibbs early in June where two tentative time lines were developed that followed the periods of the new moon in the months of July and August that would best fit the Gibbs schedule, weather permitting of course.  After one failed attempt in July due to the weather (like that's any surprise in Michigan) the evening at Peach Mountain finally arrived for the Gibb Family on Tuesday the 14th of August.  Part of the arrangement at the service auction was that the family, which purchased the service, could also bring along a few close friends as well, which they did.
The Gibbs was scheduled to arrive at Peach Mountain at 21:00hrs unto which they arrived at about 21:10.  Two vehicles arrived at the same time and parking was immediate.  I then informally greeted the Gibbs and their Party then ushered them down the path to the Observatory.  Upon arrival to the Observatory several of the Lowbrow members Mark Deprest, Bernard Friberg and Dave Snyder were standing by to assist with the evening events.  At that time formal introductions were made on both sides.
                Mark Deprest started the evening event out with a tour of the 24inch McMath Telescope, starting with an explanation of the primary and secondary mirrors. Mark then led the Gibb Party around to the front explaining the differences in telescope design reflectors, refractors and so on.  He then led the Gibb Party outside to where several smaller telescopes one 8 inch dobsonian from inside and one Mark had brought with him which appeared to be either a 12 or a 14 inch dobsonian. Throughout the evening explanations as to terms like Right Ascension and Declination, Star Maps and their uses, Globular V/S Open Clusters, Galaxies our Milky Way and other Galaxies, the Great Rift and so much more were discussed.  Finally, the culmination of the evening event came when Mark presented a dissertation on classical Greek and Roman Constellation Mythology.  This seemed to have the effect of wooing questions out of some of the women in the Gibb Party. The evening event concluded at approximately 23:45 hours.  At this time, I ushered the Gibb Party back to the parking lot and along the way they thanked me for such a cordial and personal evening.  All and all, the evening went very well with many questions and answers throughout the evening.  When the Gibb Party left some of the women were still excited about the Greek and Roman stories.

The Fifth Annual "Astronomy at the Beach"
by Dave Snyder
Friday August 25 and Saturday August 26 was the fifth annual Astronomy at the Beach. I arrived at Kensington Metropark with Mark Deprest at about 6:30PM. A number of people had already set up along the beach, however most of the Lowbrows hadn't arrived yet. Clayton was already set up. We saw Glen Dent (who works for the Metropark) busy transporting amateur astronomers and their equipment from the parking lot to the lawn. 
Unlike previous years, there were no bright comets visible. Jupiter and Saturn were on the wrong side of the sun. However Mars was visible, along with the Moon and whatever deep sky objects people could find. It is traditional to allocate part of the beach for the Lowbrow contingent, Mark decided that an unoccupied portion of the North Lawn would serve this purpose. Soon Mark set up and we saw the arrival of Doug Scobel, Chris Sarnecki, Milton and Doug Bock (both Doug Scobel and Chris brought Dobs). Since it wouldn't get dark for a few hours, all of the telescopes were pointed at either the Sun or the Moon. Many telescopes had yellow balloons, this signified that they had solar filters and were pointed at the sun. Visitors were able see a number of sunspots including a nice sunspot group.
Somewhat later Mike Radwick, Paul W and his dad, Bob G, Kim D, Randy and Lorna arrived (Mike, Paul  and Bob all brought telescopes). I brought my digital camera. I had taken daytime photos with it, but no astrophotographs. The camera couldn't take long exposures, but exposures of up to a few seconds were possible. I had an opportunity to try a shot of the Moon. I tried once with Paul's telescope and once with Chris Sarnecki's before I realized that I needed to set the focus to infinity in order to get this to work. After making this adjustment I had my photo.


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