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Solar Eclipse Workshop at HartRAO, July 2002 - Photos

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Preparation for the Workshop

One month was available to prepare for the workshop, following the meeting on 2002 June 10 of groups awarded funds for eclipse projects by FEST. This took up most of the Science Awareness team's time, with considerable support from the mechanical workshop staff (Andre van der Merwe and Attie van Wyk) in manufacturing resources, plus our buyer (Piet Louw) in locating components.

Special thanks go to Beryl Coetzee, Rebecca Motsweri and Joki Motsweri for organising the accomodation on site at HartRAO, and providing the breakfasts, teas and lunches.

A4 leaflet
Pulane Moroeng proof reads the A4 leaflet about the eclipse that she is developing on the computer.

slide show
Mike Gaylard writes the notes for the eclipse slide sets that he has made.

orrery frame
Andre van der Merwe uses the bending brake to make the aluminium body of an orrery - a mechanical model of the Sun, Earth and Moon.

orrery - lathe
Andre van der Merwe cuts the wooden "cotton reels" for the orreries on the lathe in the HartRAO mechanical workshop.

orrery - testing
Andre van der Merwe tests the orreries he has built.
What size drive bands are best, he wonders.

Glenda - painting moon
Glenda Coetzer takes time out from the library to paint the Moon and Earth balls for the orreries.

binoculars - milling machine
Andre van der Merwe uses the milling machine to cut chunks out of binoculars so that we can see the optical components inside.
Surprisingly, they continue to work after this treatment.

The Eclipse Workshop

participants gather
Participants for the workshop gather in front of the radio telescope at HartRAO.

Logan - Sun
Setting up the scale model of the solar system, Logan Moodley tells us about the Sun.

Logan - Mars
Now seventy eight steps from the Sun in our scale model, we have reached Mars - the "Red Planet".

Pulane - Sunspots
Pulane Moroeng uses the spotting scope to project an image of the Sun.
Three sunspot groups are visible - each spot is bigger than the Earth!

Pulane - Eclipse Viewers
Pulane Moroeng shows us how to use the eclipse viewers made in Sutherland to see the Sun safely.

Pulane - Orrery
The solar system tilts perilously as Pulane investigates:
What causes day and night?
Which way does the Earth turn?
Why do we have seasons?

Mike - gyroscope
Does the Earth's axis always point in the same direction?
Mike Gaylard uses a spinning weighted bicycle wheel to find out.

Kim - Moon globe
Kim de Boer tells us about the Moon using the globe in the Visitors Centre.
She is touching the "rabbit" on the Moon - which is upside down on the model as it was made for Northern hemisphere viewers.

Moon phases
Trying out for ourselves how to demonstrate the phases of the Moon using a lamp and table tennis ball.
Stuck with no resources, we would use our fist as the Moon and the Sun as itself, while our head stands in for the Earth.

making starfinders
Cutting out the card parts for the starfinders (planispheres).
The commercial plastic versions of these cost about R140.

Pinhole projection
Trying out a pinhole in a card to project an image of the Sun.
This is the cheapest and safest way of viewing an eclipse.
Here the Sun's image looks round - no eclipse happening right now!

Sun projection with binoculars
How do we aim binoculars at the Sun when we must not look through them?
Mike Gaylard shows how.

Sun projection with binoculars
Logan assists in setting up the binoculars on tripods to project images of the Sun.
Three sunspot groups showed clearly with these 7x50 and 10x50 binoculars.

Sun projection with binoculars
Just how many sunspots can we see?

Kim - Orrery
Kim shows how to use the HartRAO-designed orrery to show night and day, the seasons, phases of the Moon, and eclipses.
Note the black sectioned binoculars lying on the table.

Orrery tryout
Trying out the new orreries in the dark room in the Visitors Centre.

making telescopes
Colleen from FEST, in the grey suit, has joined us in making Galilean telescopes.
They give an upright image, unlike astronomical refractor telescopes.
These are the excellent kits developed by Case Rijsdijk at SAAO.

using telescopes
Yes! The telescopes work!

card cutouts on OHP
Pulane shows the very effective eclipse simulations that can be done using card cutouts on an overhead projector.

Planning strategy: where to from here?
The A4 leaflets devised at HartRAO and the orrery provide inspiration.
Flip charts stuck to the wall reflect the perspiration.

created 2002/07/16 by Science Awareness team, e-mail: aware@hartrao.ac.za