Mars closest approach 2003

On the 23rd August the Coventry & Warwickshire AS (C&WAS) opened its doors to the general public.  After a month long campaign of advertising the closest approach of Mars in 60,000 years on "Classic Gold" the local radio station.

Members of the society set up telescopes outside their normal meeting place (Methodist Church Hall,  Earlsdon Road South,  Coventry) to project the Suns image on to card and paper so visitors could see the sun spots.  An ETX was also setup with a sun filter so that direct viewing was possible.

Inside we had posters advertising the National Astronomy Week (NAW)  http://www.astonomyweek.org.uk , postcards of Mars, society literature and pictures from members of the C&WAS.  Also placed around the hall were pictures taken by members of several imaging groups.  Quick Cam & Unusual Imaging Astronomical Group (QCUIAG)  who mainly use webcam and variants to image the night sky can be found at http://www.qcuiag.co.uk ,Digital Astro http://groups.yahoo.com/group/digital_astro/  and as the name implies they use digital cameras to obtain images and Video Astro http://groups.yahoo.com/group/videoastro who use handy cams and palmcams etc. to capture video.  These pictures included images of the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and of course Mars.   Other images were of the deep sky objects but these were taken with webcams that had been altered internally to take  longer exposures or digital cameras that have manual exposure settings.

Webcam image enhancement was one of the mini shows where by an avi (small video) of Mars was processed into a final image. A computer presentation of Mars narrated by Heather Cooper from the Society of Popular Astronomy (SPA) was shown which was well attended.  Other images were shown of CCD and 35mm camera.

Space flight was well represented with many posters and articles of NASA's achievements over the last few decades.

All in all a very good day which was well attended by the public.

 
Arthur Kindon & Mike Frost Projecting the Sun Mars presentation
 
 Clive on the library stand