Telescope Amnesty A Great Success
Here's what it looked like throughout the day.
On the weekend myself and fellow amateur astronomer Dustin Bradford held a 'Telescope Amnesty' on the Town Green at Port Macquarie. NSW.
The idea was to educate locals and visitors to our region about safe solar viewing, promoting the upcoming Total Eclipse on November (best pace to see this is Port Douglas and Cairns). We set up telescopes, dobs, refractors and a Coronado along with our 14 inch Meade computer controlled scope all equipped with solar filtering.. and waited. Would anyone turn up?
Our fears were removed when,around 9am, people started arriving. They arrived, bought ALL of our merchandise and at the end of the day I had six good telescopes donated that I will pass on to local schools. One scope was a computer controlled 114 mm Meade with all accessories..including a very expensive professionally made Solar Filter..
The focus was on all three solar scopes
I was asking for any old, unused or unwanted telescopes that are lying about in garages or stored away in closets to be brought along on the day so he can restore and donate them to local schools to start their own astronomy clubs. We were showing people amazing sunspots and flares, letting them glimpse the Sun’s disc safely using new solar filters and answering any questions on telescopes the had. I sold several telescopes on the day to local residents and gave them info brochures to join the Astronomical Society of NSW for further involvement and club viewings.
Psst... wanna buy some solar glasses? This was around 8am - before we were properly set up.
It’s all part of the astronomy education I've been doing successfully for almost ten years now. Through my sponsors I've visited over 600 schools throughout NSW and donated over a hundred new telescopes for them to start up school astronomy clubs. For this weekend though Dustin and I saw more than two thousand people pour through our displays, buy solar filters, ask questions, and see some great solar viewing. We even found Venus in the blue sky for an hour or so!
The focii was on education.. this 8" Dob got a lot of attention.