LtE in CMO #278

From C Martin GASKELL

. . . . . . . .Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 23:13:08 -0500 (CDT)

From: C Martin Gaskell <>

To: Donald Parker <>

Subject: Mars





thanks for the continuing stream of Mars images. People might be interested to know of the enormous crowds we've been getting in Lincoln Nebraska. We have excellent coordination of public astronomical outreach in Lincoln between the Prairie Astronomy Club (the guys who started the famous Nebraska Star Party), Hyde Observatory (the city's free public observatory), Jack Dunn at Mueller Planetarium, and the on-campus Student Observatory I run at the University of Nebraska. A week and a half ago on Saturday Hyde Observatory had 250 people show up. Last Saturday it was 500 people there, then on Tuesday night we coordinated the two observatories being open the same hours (10:00 to 2:30). We got about 750 people at the University of Nebraska Student Observatory, and Hyde Observatory got a whopping 1100 people. We were blessed with remarkable seeing that night so our 16-inch was at times showing almost as much detail as in your CCD images. To my immense relief, everyone at our Student Observatory was delighted and didn't mind the very long lines to see Mars. The reaction at Hyde Observatory was very similar I'm told. Last night (Wednesday), we had the University's Student Observatory open again and we had another 500 people come. The seeing wasn't great, but still, we had very happy crowds again. Hyde Observatory is bracing for another large crowd on Saturday.


Needless to say, with all the public viewings, I've not being doing any serious Mars observing on my own!


All the best,


Martin GASKELL (Nebraska, USA)

Department of Astronomy and Physics, University of Nebraska

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