First Ever: AP Euro Stargazing Event

By:  Taylor Menconi, Copy Editor

The sky is no longer the limit for Mr. Prodan’s AP European History classes.

On Monday, Feb. 9, the AP Euro students and their families visited Charter after school hours from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to star-gaze with NASA Ambassador Jerry Hilburn, who was invited by Mr. Prodan.

“Since we’ve been studying Galileo and the Scientific Revolution, I thought it’d be cool if students were able to see what Galileo saw and experienced,” AP Euro teacher Mr. Prodan said.

The beginning of the night was mainly led by Hilburn, who works for the San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA) Outreach program. Students looked at the stars and planets in the Milky Way, and even at another galaxy, he said.

As he pointed out and described each section of the sky, Hilburn shared his knowledge of astronomy by giving a short lecture about the various stars, planets and galaxies.

“Students have a neat opportunity to listen to an astronomer explain the basics of astronomy and show the students the planets that we don’t normally see,” ECHS Director Mr. Roner said, who was present at the event.

Mr. Roner also stated how excited he was to look through the telescopes Hilburn had set up. One of the two was pointed at Jupiter for most of the night, and people were able to see the moons orbiting it.

Students were able to take a view from the lens of an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron with a 80-mm refractor on top, and a 20-inch Starmaster Dobsonian.

The first-ever AP Euro stargazing event was a low-key night filled with learning and discussion, as well as a potluck of desserts, coffee, hot chocolate, and apple cider that was served in the lobby of the American Spirit Theater.

“Coming at night was really cool because we were able to see the stars and have apple cider and hot chocolate and all this other stuff,” Sophomore Jaylene Ramli said. “It was just a really relaxing environment.”

The hope for the night was that it would potentially spark an interest and expose students to a different kind of science, according to Mr. Prodan.
“Obviously there are other subjects beside history that are important, and I know a lot of kids enjoy science. Hopefully they were able to learn a lot more about astronomy and have a great time,” Mr. Prodan said.

Full article at:

Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?

Beam' a Greeting to New Horizons!

Team to Transmit Messages to the Spacecraft During New Year’s Flyby in the Kuiper Belt

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 13 years to reach the heart of the Kuiper Belt – but you can get there in a matter of hours!

In 2005, more than…

Read more
Beam Your Message to New Horizons

Aqua Caliente Star Party

One of my favorite places to hold a star party is in the desert east of San Diego. On Tuesday March 7th, 2017 I headed out to Aqua Caliente County Park to meetup with a dear friend Sandy H. and her band of home school parents and teachers. We had a l…

Read more
Aqua Caliente Star Party

Astrometric Measurement of WDS 03117

I am pleased to present this paper that I co-authored with two teachers and submitted to JDSO this year as part of the Boyce Astro program.

Hilde van den Bergh1, Chris Olivas2, Jerry Hilburn3

Mentor, BEWiSE, Fleet Science Center, San Diego, C…

Read more
Binary Star Research

Astrometric Measurements of WDS 20210+1028

I am excited to report the submission of a double star research paper to the Journal of Double Star Observations. I co-authored the paper with a team of College professors in the local San Diego area. This research project was part of an Astronomy Re…

Read more

New Telescope at Catfish Observatory

There are few places in America where you can go and not have Internet or Cell phone coverage. Today I will embark on a journey to such a place. Texas. Actually, not all of it, just McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis.

And of course I will …

Read more

Lagoon and Trifid Wide Field

I shot this on July 4th 2016 with a Canon 6D and a 135mm EF Redline piggy backed to a AVX mount. 3 shots stacked, each 2 minutes long at 800 ISD. First pretty picture I have taken with the new camera.

Click Link for Full Size

Read more

Asteroid TB145 Movie

Friday night I started calibration and testing of the imaging system at 8PM. By 10pm I was ready to start taking data on the Halloween Asteroid. When I first moved the scope into position and started shooting I tried a series of 60 second shots, then…

Read more
Courtesy of S&T: Gregg Dinderman

2015 TB145 - Big Rock Screams Past Earth Friday Night

I love a spectacle, or more precisely the high energy motion of a fast moving rock. Join me Friday night at TDS as we attempt to shoot asteroid TB145  as it screams past earth beginning at 10pm. The asteroid will appear just below the moon near Orion…

Read more
Courtesy of S&T: Gregg Dinderman