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Bicentennial Birthday Bash Sungazing

Thanks to all who participated in the Indiana Bicentennial Birthday Bash at Bendix Woods County Park, in New Carlisle, IN. The Bicentennial Torch Relay passed several Anniversary Solargraphs along the route through St. Joseph County, including three pinhole cameras within Bendix Woods. A few parties who expressed interest in making their own solargraphs took home solargraph cans I had pre-made.

I and other members of Michiana Astronomical Society--Paul Surowiec, Ruth Craft, and Aaron McNeely--were there with solar-filtered telescopes to look at the sun safely. Visitors could peer at sunspots displayed on a Sun Funnel, witness prominences on the solar limb through hydrogen-alpha telescopes, or see zoomed in sunspots through white light filters. All the while we were promoting the forthcoming solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017 (for which educators should consider Here Comes the Sun- 2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop).

Ruth Craft also exhibited a display about Indiana's Bicentennial Star, the corner star Scheat in the Great Square of Pegasus, 200 light years away. A table loaded with material described three astronomy-related Indiana Bicentennial highlights--the Anniversary Solargraphs, the Bicentennial Star, and the bicentennial anthem Indiana Moon.

We appreciate all the dialogue with visitors who made the clear and sunny day even brighter.

Let's continue to get ready to observe the sun for the 2017 solar eclipse happening on Monday, August 21. Next up is Here Comes the Sun- 2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop on November 15, 2016. Please pass the invitation along to any educators you may know in the Michiana region.

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