When I took part in this Achterhoek stargazing weekend last year, I already knew this was going to be an event in which I was going to take part annually. Even though I’m not a hard-core amateur astronomer, really. I mostly went along for the fun, the people, the walks, the music (I lalalalike it) and the chocolate Easter eggs were an added bonus. And of course, because Joep and I had assigned ourselves the task of dimming the lights on this camp site with garbage bags.
Unfortunately, the sky was only clear for about an hour or so, but we looked at the Sun during the day, tested telescopes and we did make the most of that one hour stargazing. As I don’t have my own telescope, I offered my help as secretary and writing down notes – exactly like they were uttered. (So my report had sentences in them like: “wow you can do a lot of things with just 8cm!”)
One of the guys had taken along his time machine (or some sort of telescope equipment of which I have no idea what it’s used for) and he needed to know how many cogs he had on this huge cogwheel. There were a lot, so I can see why he didn’t feel like just counting them. But I offered to do it, making a competition of it, which was like the citizen science assignment “guess how many beans in the pot”. The person who’d guess closest would win a hug from yours truly and with all the answers combined we could then calculate the average and see how well we did. Just for fun.
The answer was 631 by the way. Picture proof of these shenanigans can be seen on my flickr page. Thanks to all for being there and for sharing your pictures!