Cupertino Earth Day a Big Success

Cupertino Earth Day a Big Success

Terrific weather, super sunspots, fabulous H-Alpha flares and a great crowd made the Cupertino Earth Day an outreach success for SJAA. We showed views of the sun and talked about astronomy to some 200 – 300 people both large and small. It would not of happened if we did not have a stellar volunteer crew. See below pics which tell the story of the day!


Above are shots of veteran sun lover Terry Kahl. In the middle image you see her front side with the club’s 100mm H-Alpha and an 8-inch Schmidt Cassegrain in the back – providing real time views of the sun via a video camera set up. Just to the right of Terry you see her highly portable (and more affordable) H-Alpha scope; the far right image shows a girl looking through the it.


Above, Bill O’Neil is in the foreground with his nicely portable 5-inch scope and Marion Barker is in background showing what folks are seeing and how we amateur astronomers view the sun.


Above Teruo Utsumi explains to kids prominences (solar flares) at the club’s 100m H-Alpha scope.


Kevin Lahey at his 10-inch dobsonian sunspot killer. A scope this size shows the intricate penumbra webbing of sunspots in stunning detail. See below image at left. You can click the image for higher resolution image.


Above is what the sun looked like today with a standard filter (left) showing photosphere with sunspots and H-Alpha filter (right) showing prominences or h-alpha flares. With the number of sunspots today at 174 (NOAA) we had a very active sun to show the public! Again, you can click image for higher resolution image.


Paul Colby above left, is showing his video views of the sun along with Marion Barker. This allows them to better point out and explain features of the Sun along side the public.


Above astronomers…Just kidding! Above is a beautiful Eastern dance shared on this Earth Day from the south bay community. Earth Day is about celebrating and protecting our planet – the coolest planet in the solar system! 


Electric bicycles go a long way in protecting our planet and keeping us healthy.


Marion above showing and explaining live video image of sun – how easy and cool is that?


Above, nice shot of Bill talking with a visitor at our booth.


Kevin at is scope. It looks like he showing the trees with the reflection off his huge solar filter but rest assured that person is getting a killer view of the over 170 sunspots on the solar disc.


At night, astronomers sometimes have a run in with mountain lions but this one is at peace – really at peace as it is a display (not alive) to talk to USA’s future adults about protecting these magnificent cats of the night.


Above, learning how to make your own greeting cards form materials you likely already have at home.


Above, kid art!


Above, Teruo manning the SJAA solar scope.


Another shot of Bill O’Niel


Kevin at scope talking with a family.

Earth Day Festival, Cupertino, SJAA Solar Viewing, 2014/04/05

Above foreground is yours truly Michael Packer – SJAA Solar Program coordinator and lover of everything sun! Thanks to all the volunteers above for a stellar SJAA outreach day. We handed out over 80 SJAA brochures and over 30 International Dark Sky Association brochures – info on protecting our night skies!

Observe The Sun Safely! Never look at the Sun without a proper filter!
Solar Programs are held 1st Sunday of every Month 2:00-4:00 PM at Houge Park weather permitting.

Astronomical observer for 20 years and optical engineer. I design non-imaging prism and reflector optics for commercial, medical and high-end retail lighting.

Posted in Blog, Solar

3 comments on “Cupertino Earth Day a Big Success
  1. Billie Graham Chaplowe says:

    Fascinating photos – looks VERY technical – just up your alley! Obviously I am ignorant of different telescopes, etc. BUT you are doing more than your share in educating the rest of us. You are certainly opening the future to many younger ones. Good for good – and thanks for sending it on to me.

  2. Terry Kahl says:

    Thanks for taking these great photos. I enjoyed participating. I am another sun over.

  3. Your welcome and great time Terry! (Note I updated blog adding the accolade “sun lover” to you as well 🙂