Astronomy students prepare for first observation

Robin Tyler
Robin Tyler

When they signed up for astronomy, most Vampers probably expected relaxed nights looking up at the stars, but the first four days of astronomy have been anything but, “relaxing.” The astronomy class is giving its students a hands-on and in-depth look into what we know about the cosmos and how we learned it.

The first week has been extremely busy for our campers, with their most intensive project being an all-day telescope build Wednesday. Even though for many of our students it was their first time using a drill, or sanding, or even just enduring heavy hammering, all 15 of them built their very own telescope from scratch, which they tested Friday and found out has at least a 15 times greater resolution than their naked eye.

They also completed two planispheres, which allow them to predict when different stars and planets will appear in the sky. They will use these and their new telescopes tonight for their most important project yet: their first night observation, which will keep them out until at least 10:30 tonight. We promise not to wear them out too much.

Tonight is going to be an exciting night for our campers; it will be their first of many times going out and learning about the stars with tools they created themselves. Tonight will also help prepare them for a community star-party in the final week of VAMPY.