Last night, Haverford hosted another successful outreach event at the Strawbridge observatory. Andrea set up an ingenious arts & crafts project; each participant used a small battery, two LED lights, some string, and some clay to make their own pulsar! (A pulsar is a superdense, rapidly spinning remnant of a dead star.)
Some people were pretty creative with their pulsar production…
We also brought out tried-and-true activities, such as crafting Saturn’s rings and inflating a balloon-based universe. Afterwards, Eric gave a fantastic talk on pulsars, and why they can be so puzzling to astronomers. I bet some of our visitors left the observatory feeling inspired to learn more.
Thankfully, the sky was perfectly clear last night, so we opened up both the 16-inch and the 12-inch telescopes for observation. A couple of volunteers pointed the telescopes at a couple of visible objects in the sky, and gave each of our visitors a chance to observe. I’ve never seen Jupiter and its four largest moons as clearly as I did last night.
Thanks to all of our volunteers for helping out, and to all of our visitors for showing up. Our next event will be on April 25th, in coordination with the Philadelphia Science Festival. Expect it to be our most educational and exciting one yet!
NSF AST-1151462 provides support for our public outreach programs.