Highland Road Park Observatory

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The weather event of last month has changed our communities forever. State and local officials and meteorologists are using adjectives like “unprecedented,” “horrendous,” “catastrophic.” There may be many in the local area who either want to part with astronomical equipment, or who need assistance repairing damaged equipment. There is a For-Sale section of the B.R.A.S. Forum. Opportunities for repair assistance are a little more involved. If the equipment is non-electronic the owner can bring it to HRPO on a Friday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, a Saturday from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm or during a B.R.A.S. meeting (second Mondays of the month from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm). If the equipment is electronic the owner should arrive only during the B.R.A.S. meetings. In either case the owner should call HRPO at 768-9948 to alert personnel of a visit. If the above times do not work for the owner personnel might be able to set up an alternate appointment. (Below is an 17 August picture of the archery range and ball fields next door to HRPO; it is easy to see most of the area is submerged by floodwaters. HRPO did not flood.)

17 August picture of the archery range and ball fields next door to HRPO


17 September is Plus Night at HRPO. In addition to regular viewing there will be a marshmallow roast, ultraviolet coloring, a sky tour and physical science demonstrations. This month introduces a new addition to Plus Nights—lunar and planetary filters to provide extra depth and context to the views. During the last Latest News update we also mentioned an articulating eyepiece, which will extend the view down to someone in a seated position. That eyepiece is meant for use in the 16OGS telescope. The computer for that scope is currently being tested right now at LSU P&A; it may or may not return in time for this month’s Plus Night.


Mimi Lavalle has informed us that New Horizons Primary Investigator Alan Stern will be at LSU tomorrow! We all recall last year’s thrilling live broadcasts from New Horizons’ control rooms as it confirmed it had reached the dwarf planet Pluto♇. Dr. Stern was there with several very happy colleagues, and he also explained the successes of the mission in the news conference after. Professor Stern will be speaking on 2 September at the Hill Memorial Library. We don’t even know if he gives autographs but if he does we ’ll get one!

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Last updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Thursday, September 1, 2016, 04:47 PM.