Observe the Moon night with the Eco-Rangers in the Helderberg Nature Reserve: 22 January 2016.

Auke, Lynnette and I arrived at about 19:30 to begin setting up. Andreas had taken the Eco-Rangers and some parents on one of his very instructive night walks in the reserve and when they returned we had to be up and running. There was a fairly strong gusting wind and I was worried that we might not be able to get a stable picture on the screen with the Celestron refractor and the Martin-Cam. I was also holding thumbs that the electronic gremlin which Martin had fixed, would stay fixed and not derail my efforts as it had on our previous visit.

By the time we had Lorenzo and the Celestron set up and I was certain that the electronics were behaving themselves, the line of torches appeared amongst the trees, heralding the approach of Andreas and the Eco-Rangers.

Auke got the group settled down and did a basic introduction before the observing started. At my telescope, there was some initial confusion. Some of the Eco-Rangers insisted that they wanted to look at the moon through the telescope and not on the screen. After several explanations, I got the message home and the group settled down.

The camera was set up out of harm’s way and set to take photos at specific intervals. As it was dark the shutter speed was fairly slow so any movement caused a blurring effect. These three shots show Auke in action with the Eco-Rangers shortly after they arrived back from their walk. Careful observers will recognize the Southern Cross and the two pointers in the background.
The camera was set up out of harm’s way and set to take photos at specific intervals. As it was dark the shutter speed was fairly slow so any movement caused a blurring effect. These three shots show Auke in action with the Eco-Rangers shortly after they arrived back from their walk. Careful observers will recognize the Southern Cross and the two pointers in the background.
If you were standing still you have a solid image and if you moved the image is blurred. The Southern Cross is very clear in the bottom image.
If you were standing still you have a solid image and if you moved the image is blurred. The Southern Cross is very clear in the bottom image.

One of the Eco-Rangers made a short video of the telescope and the changing Moon as I moved the image on the screen. Quite nifty, complete with a voice recording.

The Celestron and its mount in reflecting the green glow from the light on the battery and in the background some artistic torch work by some of the Eco-Rangers.
The Celestron and its mount in reflecting the green glow from the light on the battery and in the background some artistic torch work by some of the Eco-Rangers.

By 22:00 it was all over and we packed up kindly supported by Wendy, Claudia, Andreas and on or two other adults. Thanks for the help and we hope to see you all again soon.