The last weekend in July, we enjoyed two events with the Santa Barbara School of Squash. The first was Thursday when a group from the youth enrichment program came to the offices of LCOGT for a tour led by Kurt Vander Horst and Rachel Ross. They saw 0.4m and 1.0m telescopes in various stages of being assembled as well as our test site in the back parking lot complete with an Aqawan containing a 0.4m telescope and a survey telescope and the 1.0m dome where the group experienced the 1.0m telescope moving around. We were even able to take a brief look into the shop to see all the tools and machines used to create many of the telescope parts.
Then on Friday, everyone headed up to Sedgwick for a star party. Although the weather was very overcast in Santa Barbara, it went from a bit hazy to perfectly clear in the Santa Ynez Valley. We began the evening with a walk to the pond and to the 100 year old barn before heading up to the observatory. As it grew dark enough to start seeing the first stars of the evening we toured around the sky learning about different stars and constellations. We then used the BOS and an AP 178, we observed many wonders of the night sky including Saturn, some galaxies, globular clusters, planetary nebula and an open cluster next to an emission nebula.
Both events were great and everyone was very enthusiastic! And now, from some of the members of SBSOS:
"It was a really cool experience - I loved learning about the constellations!"
"It was one of the most memorable experiences"
"Thank you for showing us the beautiful stars in the sky"
"Constellations and stars are like a beautiful painting - I can't believe I could actually see them"
"The tour of where you make the telescopes was a great learning experience"
"The tours were SO cool!"
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