Feb 16, 2011

Looking for sun spots

Astronomy students at Central Lakes College had a good excuse for getting outside, even briefly, on Wed., Feb. 16. Their instructor in the class held on the Brainerd campus insisted they have a gander at the mid-day sun. David Kobilka asked his class to work in small groups to discern sun spots and any other activity that could be observed throuhg the 12-inch reflector of a $5,000 Meade LX 90 solar observing telescope, which the Science Department obtained about a year ago. Students, including Teresa Becker of Long Prairie, had a challenge, since the sky grew hazy with thin cirrus clouds that diffused the view. But most of the students brought into focusat least the edges of the big ball. Night skies with myriad constellations and skyscape features are also in view during the semester-long astronomy class.