~by Marla Orfield, Greene County Schools HSAP supervising teacher
Twenty-one persons gathered under a clearing sky to view the wonders of the night sky on Monday, May 21. Despite clouds and rain earlier in the day, the group was able to see many celestial objects using their eyes and/or a telescope. Home School Assistance Program (HSAP) students and guests met at the acreage of Gary and Carrie Carstensen for the event.
Drew Sorenson of Jefferson shared his passion for astronomy with the group. He demonstrated how he built the three telescopes he brought. Students learned first-hand about the differences between reflecting and refracting telescopes.
As the skies darkened the group could view the moon through both types of telescopes. Students saw Venus, Jupiter (with cloud bands and four of its moons visible), a binary star, and a nebula, as well as locating several constellations. A highlight of the evening was using cell phone cameras to capture images of the moon through a telescope.
This event was sponsored by the Greene County HSAP. This program is offered by the Greene County Schools to provide support to home school families who enroll in the program. Marla Orfield is the HSAP supervising teacher.