WV SKY TOURS
Fascinated by the night sky?
Want to know and see more?
Now you can hire David Buhrman, an amateur astronomer and his telescopes
to show you the heavens above. WV sky tours has a dark site twenty
miles north of Lewisburg, WV.
From this site the unaided eye can span the sky and make out the
"Milky Way" band of the vast pin-wheel shaped galaxy in which
we live. Meteors, satellites, and faint nebula can be picked out among
all of the northern constellations visible any clear night when the Moon
does not overpower.
The Moon is itself a wonderful telescopic object, and the planets can be
viewed even during the full Moon.
Even cloudy skies can be overcome. WV sky tours has access to a STARLAB
portable planetarium dome which can be set up indoors and accurately
simulates the night sky from anywhere in the northern hemisphere (It requires
a 12' ceiling and a 21' wide room. Advance reservation required to
Daytime astronomy is fun. Observe the granulation, limb darkening, facula,
and sunspots on our closest star, the Sun. Learn how this nuclear
powerhouse (containing 99.86% of our local solar system's mass) was born,
lives, and will finally die.
For larger groups, or greater distances, WV sky tours can bring the telescopes
to your location. Make sure the site is suitably dark at night and permission
has been granted ahead of time.
Cloudy weather will dictate rescheduling a night sky tour. Or, an alternative
indoor activity such as STARLAB or a video "slide show" narrated
by yours truly, David Buhrman can be substituted.
The Nightsky Truss Dobsonian has a premium 15" wide Royce mirror capable
of gathering 3000 times the light of the human eye. This "light
bucket" has been fully computerized to GoTo and track thousands of
celestial objects, planets, and man made satellites.
80 mm Vista refractor mounted on the Nightsky's mirror box affords
breathtaking wide fields of star clusters and the Moon.
Two "integrated video" cameras mounted at the eyepiece of each scope
produce a composite image of "streaming live video" in real time on a
portable television monitor. A true "classroom experience" is achieved
when everyone can see and discuss the bright, focused, image on the monitor.
Our Coronado PST dedicated solar telescope equipped with Denkmeier Binoviewers will reveal
magnificent daytime views of the Sun viewed in the Hydrogen-alpha wavelength.
Celestron 8"SCT tracking telescope (not shown) can be set up to offer individual visual views
of planets and the moon.
Astronomical quality binoculars mounted on tripods or with neck straps
available for a quick view of the sky.
As an informal educator, I avoid getting bogged down in technical
details that are beyond the scope of someone just trying to learn about the
night sky. The first known science on Earth was star-gazing. The earliest
cave drawings have star groupings in them.
People read of fantastic discoveries everyday about the Universe and our
place in it. I want to share my enthusiasm for the starry night with
others. Let me untangle some of the mystery and help explain the why,
where, and what that propels the sky above.
What at first just looks like a dim smudge of fuzzy light in the eyepiece
becomes more significant when you realize those photons that just collided
with your eye left a galaxy larger than ours and have been traveling at 186,000 miles/second straight thru
deep space for over 50 million years to arrive at this moment. A telescope
is literally a "time machine."
There is an abundance of sky lore and stories from every culture throughout
history pertaining to the stars. Agrarian societies recognized early on that
the fixed stars come again "like clockwork" every year. Ocean faring
sailors depended on them for navigation. Learn how the constellations were
named for the earthly events coinciding with their arrival. Why the week has
seven days. How the "drinking gourd" showed the runaway slaves
the way to freedom. Why the sky is blue, and sunsets are red. Find your
place in the Universe.
HC 67 Box 533
Renick, WV 24966
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