suitti (suitti) wrote,

Super Secret Project

It's hard to believe, but i'm involved in producing a monthly half hour TV show. OK, it's aired on local cable, in the probably ignored "public access" slot. But, we've produced four episodes. Back in May, i called this the "super secret project". Not because we're trying to keep it under wraps. But more because we've been so busy producing the show, that we've hardly had time to promote it. Well, now we have a web site.

Astronomy For Everyone

The first episode has Don interviewing me, and we're talking about astronomy with zero equipment. Naked eye astronomy is best for meteor showers (The Perseid Meteor shower peaks on August 12th - coming fast), constellations, navigation, the Milky Way, and just a few galaxies, clusters, nebulae, and double stars. Did you know that you can see everything that amateur astronomers can see for free? Almost every club has monthly public star parties and observatory open houses. There are seven clubs in the Metro Detroit area. That's a boat load of opportunity. We tried hard to make the show interesting, and only let a half dozen factual errors slip by (see the transcript).

The second episode covers binoculars. Ken brought, like, a dozen pair. It was show and tell. His smallest pair, 2.5x - have a 28 degree field of view. That's big enough for some constellations. And his largest pair are 25x100. That's really a pair of 4 inch telescopes, with excellent alignment. Holy Cow!

Thanks to Greg Ozimek for the observatory photo.

The third episode, on the air now, features an interview with four Ford Amateur Astronomy Club members who helped in a project to restore a local high school observatory. It's very hot. While observatories often go into disuse when the guy who knew something about it retires or leaves, this shouldn't happen again. The Ford club will continue to stay involved. With 150 members, there will always be a really good chance that maybe ten of them will be on hand to work with students and the public. So, it's not just a first rate new observatory. It's a plan.

Our forth episode, for September, focuses on Jupiter. It features an interview with Sandra, our local Jupiter (and other things) expert.

We're working on October. Probably something about telescopes.

We're also working to expand our coverage. We've been picking up a new local cable company about once a month. It's an easy sell. It's free content. It's pretty good. It's local. Did i mention it's free? But many municipalities require that a resident "sponsor" the show. So, i've been handing out DVD's like candy to anyone who says they might look into how this might happen for their town.
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