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Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"

Hot Tub Astronomy 

Some plate designs, by virtue of their non-paper composition, hold up well to moisture and are conducive for outdoor use. Other activities enhance time under the stars by preparing the observer for celestial highlights.  Consider some of these recommended activities:

Lighting Issues

mag-plate04388.jpg (20361 bytes)Hot tub astronomy is enhanced when there are no objectionable lights causing glare.  When your intent is to observe celestial objects (with visibility admittedly impaired by rising steam), the presence of sky pollution impinges on the experience.  The lead authority is the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) at www.darksky.org.   The IDA produces a brochure on how to talk to your neighbor about their lights (http://www.darksky.org/key/keynehbor.html). 

Efforts to reduce light pollution are also presented at www.nightwise.org.    For a demonstration on the value of light shielding, see the paper plate activity designed by an 8-year old at lights.htm.  


Paper Plate Ed says:  Hot tubs are ideal for viewing meteors.  

  • One observer's results from the 2002 Perseids can be viewed at the Meteor Shower activity page.   That same person was in a hot tub for the 2002 Leonids from 4:30-6:00 a.m., but saw no meteors, for it rained non-stop.

  • The night of August  12 and early morning of August 13, (2002):  Perseid meteor shower.  Generally to the northeast, but high and broad across the sky well after midnight.  On a paper plate with starfield, plot the track of meteors around the radiant.  For more information on the Perseid meteor shower see the International Meteor Organization (IMO) 

  • The Leonid meteor shower peaks in mid-November.  



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Copyright 2012 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.