Hands on the Sun - 2006

Terry Pedroza and I attended the Meade Instruments sponsored event, "Hands on the Sun 2006" on October 3-4, in Irvine, CA.  The event started off on Friday afternoon with a visit to the 100" telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory where we heard Dr. David Levy speak below the famous Telescope on "Discovery and Poetry".  Dr. Levy also shared the details of his 22nd visual comet discovery just a few days prior to this event, only 1/2 degree away from Saturn!  Don Nicholson then gave us a personal tour of the 150 ft. Solar Telescope.  Later that evening after dinner, the conference really kicked off at Irvine Valley College where Dr. Levy spoke to us again.

Saturday was filled with fascinating lectures, a hands on solar imaging workshop with the latest Coronado single and double stacked hydrogen alpha scopes and two scopes with CaK filters.  We got to meet some new amateur astronomy friends and learn one-on-one from the astro-imagers featured in this year's Meade catalogue.  That evening, Scott Roberts, Director of the Meade 4M Community and Colette Picollo, Event Coordinator Extraordinaire, hosted a great fiesta dinner (delicious food by the way!) and star party and imaging workshop in the parking lot at Meade Headquarters.  There were many, many door prizes from Coronado Filters, Meade and 4M for each conference attendee.  Scott gave us a chance to observe through the latest RCX400 telescopes, including the one mounted on Meade's new MaxMount under Meade's observatory dome on the roof of their facility.  Wow!

Sunday morning we met at Meade again for a continental breakfast, another solar imaging workshop, and a raffle where yours truly won a new Meade DSI color imaging camera!

Thank you to Terry Pedroza for inviting me to go with him, to Meade for hosting an outstanding event, to the presenters who I learned so much from in a short period of time, and to Colette and Scott at Meade for looking after us so well!

All of the images below were taken by me.


3D anaglyph picture of the 150 ft Solar Telescope on the top of Mt. Wilson.  (Use Red-Blue glasses) Dr. Levy and Colette Picollo Scott Roberts introducing Dr. Levy

Dr. Levy giving his talk under the historic 100" Hooker Telescope on Mt. Wilson Dr. David Levy, Terry Pedroza, Scott Roberts, and Don Nicholson discuss the historic discoveries made with the 100" Telescope Don Nicholson and HOTS conference attendees inside of the 150 ft. Solar Telescope.  A picture of Don's famous father hangs on the wall in this room


Christopher Go of the Philippines took pictures of Jupiter's Red Spot Jr. and showed them to us on Sunday morning as a surprise speaker Colette did a Meade raffle and gave away LPI Imagers, DSI, DSI Pro, and DSI Pro II imagers with Color Filters! 3D anaglyph picture of the 100" Hooker Telescope on Mt. Wilson.  Use Red (L) - Blue (R) glasses to see this image in 3D


H.O.T.S Event Schedule

- 9am Meet at Meade Instruments parking lot (6001 Oak Canyon, Irvine Ca) to board shuttle to Mt. Wilson Observatory 
- Arrive at Mt. Wilson at 11am
- 11 am-12 noon Dr. David Levy gives Introductory Presentation
- 12-1 pm Bag Lunch (Lunch not provided. Please bring food for the day trip)
- 1 pm-3 pm Tour of Mt. Wilson including the 150 ft. Solar Tower
- 3:30 pm Shuttle leaves back to Meade Instruments
- 7:30 pm Opening Ceremony with David Levy at Irvine Valley College room B209 (5500 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine Ca)

- 8:30am meet at Irvine Valley College for Continental Breakfast. (Please note that transportation to and from the hotel, Meade and Irvine College is not provided)
- 9 am-10:30 am Keynote Speech by Dr. Ralph Chou
- 10:30-11:30 am Speaker John Hoot "Automating Solar Observing"
- 12 noon-1 pm Lunch Break. Food will be Provided.
- 1-2 pm Hands On Solar Observing and training
- 2-3 pm Speaker Greg Piepol gives "Solar Imaging Techniques"
- 3-4 pm Speaker Gary Palmer "Discovering the Excitement in our Closest Star"
- 4-5 pm Open questions and answers by Paul Hyndman, Tom Masterson, & Mike Taormina
- 5-6:30 pm Free Time
- 6:30 pm Fiesta at Meade Instruments. Includes Food and Beverages, Big screen Images, Music and a Night Viewing Star Party.

- 8:15 am Continental Breakfast at Meade Instruments
- 9 am-10 am Tour of Meade Facility given by Scott Roberts and Bill Rich.
- 10 am-2 pm Hands on training with Solar Experts