Indiana Family Star Party
Indiana GreatCON 2008 Review
This year brought another great series of speakers that were enjoyed by all. They included…
Lonnie Puterbaugh creator of The Astronomy Channel returned to discuss how he built the. Lonnie provided a glimpse into the great insight and genius that has allowed him to make astronomy outreach exciting for himself and the many people that he touches each time he goes out. (His outreach to YMCA centers in inner city areas with high risk youth has caused the kids math test scores to increase and has increased their interest in school and learning. What higher accomplishment is possible?
Ron Whitehead, chairman of the Great Lakes region of the Astronomical League, gave the Astronomical League Astro-Quiz and coordinated the GreatCon activities this year. The quiz was taken by many and enjoyed by all. This year, Ron adjusted his junior quiz to reflect our new Sky Trekker program. Thanks for all of your efforts Ron!
Richard Ditteon provided us with some insight into the research going on at from Rose Hullman. Not only did he discuss how Rose Hullman and PGO have both observed asteroids, but he went further and discussed the further usage of that information and then gave a live demonstration using one of the scopes in Australia!
Christina Dunn with Zeeko LTD, just back from Europe took some time out of her very busy schedule to tell us about the progress on the European Extremely Large Telescope. This telescope will have a primary mirror 42 meter in diameter. To build such a large mirror, it has to be built as segments and existing technology was just not up to the task. Her research and hard work has produced a technique to polish the many unique segments. The scale alone was enough to open the imagination of those who attended to the vast new findings that will be possible though the results of her work.
Caty Pilachowski, Chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Indiana University came up to remind us what was up in the night sky during the summer. This presentation provided not only a reminder of what is up for new and old astronomers, but also showed us her excellent presentation that she uses when doing outreach.
Karen Andeen came down from the University of Wisconsin and provided a captivating discussion of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory which is located at the South Pole.
Frankfort Indiana native Tim Tharp came down from the University of Wisconsin where he studies nuclear fusion. While his emphasis in upon the great potential that lies down generating energy, his research is also applicable to astronomy since plasmas are the norm in the universe rather than the exception as here on Earth.