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Posts by amy

Mixing the ingredients for a comet...

Astro Camp photos of the day- Tuesday

Astro Camp has been great this week so far. Monday we learned about stellar evolution, had the chance to look at the Sun through Erika’s H-alpha solar telescope and see solar prominences and sun spots.  The campers saw some sunspots through my sun-funnel setup on my telescope as well.  The kids got to take home solar viewing glasses.  They learned what life would be like without supernovae (not existent!) and how black holes work. And everyday, they get to experience the inflatable planetarium! Today, we focused on the solar system, make a comet, learned about comet orbits and got to hold real meteorites. Thank you Russ FInney! Thank you Erika from the Austin Astronomical Society! More photos to come from Monday…




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Transit of Venus Tuesday, June 5th

This Tuesday, June 5th the Austin Astronomical Society and UT will be hosting a Venus transit viewing event on top of the RLM building on campus at UT.  Check out the flyer I posted above for details.  This won’t happen for another 105 years!  Check it out! Visit for more information.

Partial Lunar Eclipse this Monday morning

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This Monday morning look west for the Moon around 6:00am.  You should see the Moon in the middle of a partial eclipse.  For more information please visit one of my favorite sites:  If you want to know more specific times for viewing from our location visit this lunar eclipse computer.

Homemade pinhole projector- so cool!

What a beautiful annular eclipse!


Annular Solar Eclipse this Sunday

We won’t be in the best viewing spot to see the annular solar eclipse, however we will be able to see less than half of the eclipse before sunset here in Austin.  What we can see here will begin at 7:35pm and the maximum annular eclipse we will see will be at 8:20pm.  Remember to not look at the Sun with your naked eye.  To learn about eclipse viewing safety visit:

For a table that shows viewing times from locations visit:

For more information about annular solar eclipses visit:

For a great article with a great picture of what is possible to be seen in Austin visit:

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The Reason for the Seasons this Friday night!


Making telescopes at the Austin Mini Maker Faire

Brave telescope makers at the Austin Mini Makers Faire.  We ran out fast!  For instructions on how to make the telescopes we made today visit: (Thank you for the youtube tutorial) I ordered the lenses from the Surplus Shed: We used a 50cm focal length and a 5cm focal length double convex lens, both with 38 mm diameter. and  The rest of the materials we used: cardboard, an X-acto knife, scissors, tape, glue and a paper towel roll. Happy telescope making!


Come see me at the Austin Mini Maker Faire tomorrow!

Make a simple telescope out of two small lenses cardboard tubes, foil and toilet paper rolls. (Come early! We have only enough telescopes for the first 20 kiddos.)  Make a constellation projector out of toiled paper rolls.  Cut out your very own star charts to take home.  See ya there!

5 week course for ages 5-13 ends

What a great course we had!  By the end of it everyone was finding the planets all by themselves in the telescopes.  Everyone could pick out the major constellations, and towards the end we started having conversations about life on other planets and discussing theories about the formation of the solar system.  It was a joy to get to know everyone who took the course as well as their parents.  I don’t know who asked more questions, the kids or the parents!  We saw Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Venus and various phases it went through over the course.  We learned about the phases of the Moon, how eclipses work, the upcoming transit of Venus, the reason for the seasons, the fact that the North star isn’t always the pole star, and how immense in size our universe and solar system really is.  If you are interested in signing up for the next course, click on the link: Course for ages 8 and up.