Visiting speaker Dr. Millar shares his passion for observing the Sun. (Kseny Boklan)
More than 20 students attended the Astronomy and Physics club meeting on Feb. 28 to learn about observing the Sun and the night sky. The lecture was followed by rooftop observations from the observatory on the roof of the Science and Math building.
Doug Millar from Pepperdine University discussed his interest and experience in observing the sun. His PowerPoint presentation, “Observing the Sun in Ha and at 60KHz” circulated interest and several students shared his passion.
“I was interested to learn how experiments were done with the different filters for sun observation,” said Bailey Kalesti, 20, astronomy and physics. “In the past I had seen the Sun through only one filter and after Dr. Millar’s presentation, I became curious to experience the others.”
Besides showing pictures of the Sun in every light and with different filters, Millar gave tips for the best ways to make observations. He explained that the sun has an 11-year cycle, with most active periods in the spring or fall. Sunspots are easy and fun to follow, “because they move around and often join together,” Miller said.
The videos, taken by satellite, showed a wide variety of the Sun’s activity. Students also learned about using a telescope when viewing the Sun.
“I enjoyed learning about the Sun and the lengths of emitted light” said Mahsa, Malakootian, 18, biology. “The sunspots were interesting and now I know how to use a P.S.T. solar telescope.”
The beginning of the meeting covered “What’s Up” in the current evening sky. Dr. Mitch Haeri explained and showed pictures for reference of both Leo and Virgo constellations, “Learning the Messier objects and galaxies in the Virgo constalation was exiting,” said Kalesti.
Showing pictures of what Venus and Mercury look like through a telescope helped with the rooftop observations through the telescope.
Some sky events on the March agenda include Saturn at opposition on March 8, the full moon on the 11th, vernal equinax on the 20th and on the 25th Venus as both morning and evening star.