On September 24, a balmy fall evening, ninth graders and Science teachers Dr. Dave Morgan and John Tracey gathered on the Ross School athletic fields to observe the night sky through powerful telescopes. The session served as an introduction to astronomy for the class, who will be studying the worldview-changing discoveries of scientists including Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei. Students will also conduct their own virtual observations using Starry Night software.
Dave and John first set up the two telescopes and provided helpful tips for viewing. Dave advised that it was an opportunity to use a telescope to make some observations of the Moon that duplicate the observations made by Galileo in 1609. The telescopes used were an 8-inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain and an 8-inch Dobsonian that was donated to the School last week.
As the sky darkened, classmates took turns looking through the scopes, with many taking photos of the Moon and stars on their iPhones to later share with friends and family. Over the weekend, some also used their new skills to observe a rare phenomenon—the supermoon lunar eclipse.