For the first time, we had Joe Childers give an Astronomical League Astro-Quiz as part of the GreatCon activities. The quiz was taken by many and enjoyed by all. We look forward to this quiz again next year. Thanks for the brain twisters!
Russ Kaspar introduces our first speaker of the afternoon, David B. Williams, President of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). Mr. Williams gave a very interesting introduction to variable star observing "Variable Star Basics." He described some of the physical events that lead to several types of observed light curves.
Forrest Hamilton, came back to his home in Indiana from the Space Telescope Science Institute to present some "Hubble Highlights" by way of 3-D viewers that he brought with him. Additionally, Mr. Hamilton is a member of the Indiana Council on Outdoor Lighting Education. He started off with an easy and cheap way to modify bad security lights. (Several people were very concerned to see him with this evil light, but quickly relaxed when he didn't set it up next to his car!)
Lonnie Puterbaugh came up from Tennessee to show us his ideas for The Astronomy Channel, "Sidewalk Astronomy for the 21st Century". Rather than simply hoping for good weather on his outreach nights, Mr. Puterbaugh uses modern technology to assure a great time for anyone who shows up, rain or shine. His innovative use of video cameras and DVD recorders makes sure that people will see the night sky, either live from the camera mounted to his scope or from a prior nights viewing. The scope still slews to the location, but he makes sure people understand on those cloudy nights that he does not have any special filters that can see through the clouds. His enthusiasm is sure to spark those who watched him to try to adapt as much as possible from his great work to their own outreach efforts. We salute him and encourage his continued evolution of new outreach ideas and techniques.
Bill Conner inspired those watching with his "Techniques and Treasures in Astro-Photography". Mr. Conner provided slides of his efforts and descriptions of some of his techniques.