Astronomy Benalla
Reports - 2015
Astronomy Benalla  Outreach   Presentation to U3A Euroa           10th April 2015 Jeff Knight and Rupe Cheetham The newly formed ‘Astronomy’ Group within U3A-Euroa were visited, upon invitation by Robyn Sheehan, the  initiator/lecturer of the new group.   Comprising Robyn and seven very enthusiastic ‘students’, this group began at the commencement of the academic  year with a broad introduction to astronomy, outlining its development through history.   In April, Robyn was planning to focus particularly on the Sun, Earth and Moon, and so invited the assistance of  Astronomy Benalla to present these topics to her students.  Rupe had only recently given a talk on ‘Our Nearest Star’ with Astronomy Benalla, so was quite well prepared to  present this also to Euroa. Held every month at the Euroa Community Education Centre in Binney Street, Rupe and Jeff travelled down on the  Friday, where they were greeted quite enthusiastically by the U3A members.  Before commencement, the Coronado Solar scope was set up in the sunny courtyard ready for use at the end of the  session.  We then quickly made our way inside to begin. Following formalities Robyn began by asking everyone to jot down three facts they were aware of for each of the  topics to be looked at.  This proved very telling to where everyone sat with their general knowledge, and was also an  excellent introduction to the subject at hand.  Having shared that collective knowledge on a whiteboard, Rupe was  then offered the floor.  The PowerPoint Rupe presented was very well received.  He spoke passionately about the discoveries concerning the  Sun’s physical makeup, and then considered the many and varied phenomena associated with our Sun.  All in all, this  occupied the best part of an hour, but all participants continued to express their desire to learn more.  To finish, Rupe  wound up the afternoon with an astronomical quiz, and awarded sweet prizes for their efforts.  After their break, which involved a delicious afternoon tea, the group was led outside to witness firsthand the solar  phenomena Rupe had previously described.  Prominences were particularly active and easily seen around a  significant portion of the Sun’s disk.  The view was totally unobstructed, and the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as each viewed the  Sun safely through the solar scope was gratifying to hear.  We considered that reward enough, but, in appreciation for  our visit, we were both presented with a generous gift for our trouble.  Jeff Knight
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