10:45am - 11:30am Main Event Room
Public Outreach With Unistellar Telescopes
We are witnessing a revolution in how astronomy clubs can do public outreach. Small aperture imaging telescopes have become available, some for as little as $500, that require essentially no setup at all and allow literally anyone to immediately take digital images of celestial objects. These telescopes also allow anyone to get involved in astronomical research resulting in peer reviewed publications. In this talk, I will demonstrate two Unistellar automated telescopes. One is a eVscope 2 belonging to the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club (graciously donated by Dr. James Hermann of Lincolnton, NC). The other is an eQuinox 2 belonging to me. Attendees are encouraged to bring iOS or Android phones and tablets to this talk in order to actively participate in the demo. I will show images taken with both telescopes and will describe how CVAC uses these telescopes at our Public Night events at Lucile Miller Observatory. The innovation is that now, members of the general public can take actual digital astronomical images in real time with absolutely no previous experience whatsoever. Indications are that this will attract newcomers to astronomy and potentially to your club membership.
Joe Heafner, AAPT Fellow, began providing learning environments for astronomy and physics in 1992. His approach to teaching emphasizes the model of critical thinking developed by Richard Paul and Linda Elder, and the reasoning behind science rather than blind use of equations. He was the first physics instructor in North Carolina to adopt Matter and Interactions, a reformed introductory calculus-based physics curriculum incorporating computer modeling. His introductory astronomy course has a flavor unlike that at any other institution. His fourth book is an inquiry-based introductory astronomy textbook. Joe left the Community College System in 2021 due to changes by administrators that made carrying out the classroom mission untenable, and now identifies as an Independent Scholar. He is heavily involved with grant work at the national level with AAPT and advocates for community college faculty rights and autonomy, both of which are under attack by internal and external political forces. When not advocating for community college faculty, Joe studies ways to modernize the introductory physics curriculum by having an improved mathematical foundation and by incorporating special and general relativity.
1:00pm - 2:00pm Room 6 Bill Griswold
Astrophotography Basics with Camera, Telescope, and Computer
Bill explores the modern traditional methods of astrophotography with astronomy cameras, guided telescopes, and computer processing