June 15th 8:30 / technical presentation of the Clark restoration. by Al Hall
Society of Women Engineers, New England Shoreline Section (SWE-NESS)
The event revolved around a presentation on the Clark restoration by members Al Hall and Dick Parker. The group ended up being a total of around 8 engineers so Al and they went to dinner prior to the presentation. The presentation ran for a little over an hour but since the night ended up being clear, we were able to offer viewing afterwards. Steve opened the Patten and Dave opened the Clark. Conrad, Bob N. and I hooked up a CCD on the 16” Meade and also looked into establishing communications with the scope. A little later on, the 12” Meade was also opened up for viewing. The event did run a little later than others so they obviously had a deeper interest than other groups in the past.
It was an absolutely beautiful day, Friday, June 15. Clear blue sky. Temps in the low to mid-70’s. Low humidity. A perfect late spring day. And fortunately, for once, our good fortune continued on into the evening.
Long-time member Linda Bergemann arranged for the Society of Women Engineers to visit Seagrave Observatory, to hear a talk presented by Al Hall on the refurbishment of our Clark refractor. More specifically they were interested in Al’s fabrication of the flyball governor.
Al, accompanied by Dick Parker, gave a wonderful presentation about the detective work that needed to be conducted in order for him to even begin to design the replacement for the governor that had been destroyed decades ago.
Our guests were not only quite impressed with the machinist’s work shop that Al had in his basement, but they were also fascinated with the amount of effort Al went through to accurately build the governor from scratch.
After the talk they joined Dave Huestis and Alex Bergemann up in the dome to see our exquisitely refurbished Clark telescope, as well see the governor in action. They were quite impressed. As they viewed Saturn, Steve Siok and Dave took turns providing some of the basic historical information about the telescope, Seagrave, and the observatory.
The image of Saturn was marginal. The atmosphere steadied occasionally to provide splendid views.
A couple of the back scopes were also open, so they were encouraged to examine those instruments as well.
When that exodus from the Clark dome occurred, new member Tom Gilson remained in the dome. We kept the scope on Saturn for a while. The atmosphere got steadier as the night progressed.
The sky did seem a little bright, but Tom and I decided to continue observing. I quickly provided a little training and allowed Tom to find M57, the Ring Nebula, which he did locate with ease. Being fairly new to amateur astronomy, he had not seen Albireo yet. I pointed out where it was in Cygnus, and in no time he had acquired this beautifully color-contrasted double star (I call them the Cub Scout stars – blue and gold). I think Tom is going to be an active member and a great addition to the Saturday night team.
Around 11:30 pm we shut everything down and closed up. Anther successful star party had come to an end.