Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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November Sunspots
November 11, 2008

Well, this Veteran's Day, I had a bit of time after a good stomp to the gym, and brought down the Meade ETX90 for a bit of Solar Observing. I had heard that the Sunspot group 1008 was out and about. Well here it is, in its purple glory (due to a V-band filter). I was able to see these spots before the early sunset today. And I made a few new friends. There was a class out adventuring in the park. Their leader had to pry them away from me. They just did not want to go. I think I had something cool to do rather than the required walk through the woods. Or was it that at least we were standing in the Sun....

Then there were a few other neighbors, like Justin out walking his dog. Gave him and other fliers about the upcoming "Star Trek in the Park" with the Park Rangers.

The best was for last. Undeterred by the clouds that were rolling in, a mother (Diane) and her daughter showed up. They introduced themselves, and the little girl's name was Journey. I said what a beautiful name, and precociously, she said "Everyone says that." Well, I couldn't let this pass. I told them about the upcoming events, and smart as a whip, she said "I could write a paper about this for class." Her mother beamed with pride at her outgoing and thoughtful idea.

I do hope they come back on the 29th.

Here is what I saw, too, except the right hand pair had moved closer together and the one on the left seemed larger.

About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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