What is Summer?

by Cecilia Soto

Doane Observatory-Teen Intern

What is summer? Summer is what one wants to make out of it, such as enjoying the nice hot weather out at the beach, the long summer nights, and making memories. But you can’t forget that everyday you learn new things. It is true that every summer has its own: story, soundtrack, and love, but this year it turned out to be more like a novel for me. A novel full of great memories, new friends, and learning. It all began at the Adler Planetarium. Not only was I ready to take upon any challenge this summer, but also to develop a deeper understanding of science. Many people, including myself, had the misunderstanding that the dome inside the main building would open and a telescope will appear to look at the sky. Although, as I began to explore the Adler, I discovered that the dome located inside the main building is actually the Grainger Sky Theater, and that the Adler Planetarium has its own Doane Observatory located outside the main building. Who would have thought about that? Not me of course.

Not knowing what to expect, as my internship began, I felt nervous, scared, and thrilled to know my tasks for the summer. It was time to begin the mission, fuel up the spaceship, and countdown-blastoff!!

As an intern, I had to get prepared for this mission, not only mentally, but also physically. Me and the other telescope interns, gave information to the visitors about the telescope, what they were looking through (sun), and history about the Doane. While giving such information, I was able to learn along. Honestly, being at the Doane everyday and seeing the people’s reaction to the sun was fascinating. The kid’s faces as they enter the Doane was priceless.! Not only kid’s, but also adults, they shared the same excitement as a kid would. These moments brought back memories, not any kind of memories, but the ones as a child. As a child, I never had the opportunity to view the sun through a telescope at a young age. I am glad that now, kids are able to get an unforgettable experience at the Doane Observatory and Adler Planetarium at a young age.This shows that the Adler Planetarium provides excellent opportunities for teens and kids to develop a greater understandings of the world around them.

But wait! There is no age requirement to explore and learn. I guarantee that there will be something of your interest, no matter what your age is. Learning about solar observing is one I recommend. Solar observing is fascinating, you can observe our only star visible during the day:sun. You may be asking yourself, “ what about the sun?”. There are many features that make our sun unique Did you know that you can fit over 1.3 million earths inside the sun’s volume? Impressive. At the Doane Observatory there are two different types of telescopes: h-alpha telescope and white-light telescope. Both telescope view different layers of the sun. For instance, the h-alpha telescope views at an upper layer of the sun called the chromosphere. When one looks through this telescope, the sun look reddish, a red apple color. This is due to the activity happening , the hydrogen electron dropping from the 3rd to 2nd energy level give off red visible light, thus it looks at the red visible spectrum of the sun.

The Doane Observatory became my new home for the summer, the new friends I made became part of my family, and I began to grow a passion for science. The Doane Observatory can become your home as well, just stop by and experience it for yourself! & get ready to begin your own mission.WARNING: Mission begins in 5……4……3…..2….1….-blastoff!

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