“It’s a wonderful program and everyone is interested in it,” said Lee Flynn, who serves as programming director for the club.
He said the first program covered the universe in general and was presented by Dwight Harness, public observing coordinator of the Flint River Astronomy Club, in late January. The second program, covering the sun, was presented by Stephen Ramsden on Wednesday.
His original plan was to have Ramsden’s program the week after Harness’ program. He said once the club members had a more scientific understanding of the greater universe, an in-depth look at the sun would have been appropriate. However, Ramsden was ill, forcing a delay.
“I basically told them what our club was and what he did,” Harness said, referring to his January appearance.
Bill Warren, the president of the club, then gave a slide-show presentation depicting various astronomical wonders, such as nebulae and galaxies.
“We just told them about the sky,” Warren said.
He did not talk a lot about the club. Instead, he talked about various phenomena that comprise the universe include nebulae (gas clouds where new stars gestate), globular clusters (a dense group of stars), open clusters (a loose group of stars) and galaxies.
He also explained the difference between looking at the stars through a telescope and looking at images on a page.
“It’s very different,” he said. “We don’t get all the glorious colors you see in magazines.”
Ramsden travels the United States speaking about the sun. Since he is based in Atlanta, it was not difficult for him to speak to the Kiwanis.
When he spoke Wednesday, he discussed the formation of the sun, how it works, how it affects our lives and how to safely observe it.
He received a number of questions about the film “2012,” which depicts changes in the sun triggering a geological disaster on Earth. People were concerned about the world ending in 2012.
“A lot of people have been corrupted by that movie,” he said, criticizing the film’s lack of scientific accuracy.