Time to go on vacation and check out some truly dark night skies! This week, the MoonMen visited Boulder Colorado. Check out our Thriftscope with the Flatirons in the background!
Sunday morning in the canyon of Nederland, I visited a local resident who repairs Meade Telescopes. Mark invited me into his home and showed me every piece of equipment in his inventory, piece by piece. We saw every version of the Meade ETX Series from 1980 to present, as well as an impressive collection of eyepieces!
We shared advice and reflected on our experiences of sharing astronomy with others. We're excited to work with Mark to import some of his equipment from CO to PA!
But what I really needed was a clear night to show Boulder the early crescent moon. Monday looked like the perfect chance, so I brought the Thriftscope up to the Pearl Street Mall. Pearl street is a lot like South Street, similar crowds of all kinds of people, and a mist of light pollution brings the focus away from the sky and onto the endless shopping, eating, and drinking.
In spite of the streetlights, the cosmos had something truly special to show off tonight. The moon isn't so bright during an early crescent, which means you can see dimmer features than usual. Everyone knows the phase of the moon is caused by reflected sunshine, but the moon also gives us Earthshine! That's when light reflects off of the Earth, off the moon, and then back to Earth! You can actually see the dark side of the moon!
So how did the Philly Moon Men do in Colorado? I collected signatures in my notebook to show everybody that the night sky unites us all. A lot of people were from all over the country!
187 names total. Or, one person a minute for three hours straight. Now that's a lot of astronomy.