The Salem Witches' Institute

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The Salem Witches' Institute

Welcome to the Salem Witches' Institute, the premiere American school of magic located within the World of Harry Potter. An original role play for creative minds.

SWI is officially open. Registration is ongoing for all incoming 1st Years.
Current Role Play Date: 14 October, 2011. Day: Friday. Time: 9:00 AM. Weather: Mid 50's with a slight breeze from the east.
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    Deep Sky Loving

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    Harpreet Bashagwani
    Professor
    Professor

    Posts : 26
    Join date : 2011-04-22
    Character Age : 38
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Harpreet Bashagwani on Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:06 pm

    Harpreet loved bringing out the scopes. For the students it made them feel like they had a connection to the sky, but to Harpreet it was more the knowledge that they were taking their first steps into that realm known as "science".

    Which, as Harpreet knew, was nothing more than another kind of magic.

    While the student's scopes would never compete with the main one, they were theirs and would remain so until they sold them back when all their astronomy classes were done (which did happen, unfortunately), or they took them with them when they graduated. Naturally Harpreet wished for the later, but the truth was very few of her students loved the sky as did she....

    Stopping before the 25 centimeter Dobsonian, Harpreet knew she had one who felt the love. Oh, yes. The scope will leave the school as a cherished instrument, not to be cast aside when class is over. She ran her hand over the tube, knowing they would be surprised by what this scope could do.

    Now all I need is wait for the students, she thought. Lets see who is early, on time... and late.
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    Kerry Malibey
    1st Year Student
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    Join date : 2011-04-10
    Character Age : 17
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:24 pm

    This time Kerry made it up the stairs at the same time as Annie. With all the walking here and there to classes, Kerry was starting to build up some aerobic endurance--and flying a broom for close on 6 hours will help you endurance as well, he thought stepping onto the main upper floor of the Astronomy Tower.

    They walked into the dome and were greeted by the red light Kerry remembered last time. Kerry loved this class, doing their lessons by the dim red light and the bright night sky . . . and now he had a new toy to help him enjoy it.

    He stopped before his new scope. He'd always wanted a big scope, and this was going to do it. Any bigger and it'd be hard for him to move around when he got older. At 25 centimeters it would be large enough to pull in great images and small enough to move.

    But that was later. Right now Kerry was interested in their assignment for tonight. With the scopes out, he figured they'd do some viewing. "Good evening, Professor Bashagwani," he said, not having a lick of difficulty with the phonetic pronunciation of her name. "Good night for viewing."
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    Annie Krum
    1st Year Student
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    Join date : 2011-04-11
    Character Age : 18
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Annie Krum on Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:36 pm

    Annie was pleased to see Kerry able to keep up with her on the stairs of the Astronomy tower. Pretty soon he'll outrun me, she thought while watching him oogle his new telescope.

    "Good evening, Professor," she said. She gazed up into the night sky and agreed with Kerry. She was looking forward to this class all day and couldn't wait to get to work.

    Since the nights were starting to turn cold, she reached into her backpack and pulled out the green cotton pullover she'd bought over the weekend and slipped it over her school jacket.

    Now warm, she joined Kerry by his telescope and ran a finger lightly over the long tube. "I'm glad we were able to get out this weekend for these."
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    Kerry Malibey
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    Join date : 2011-04-10
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:53 pm

    Kerry thought that Annie's new pullover was indeed a thing of beauty. He knew it was green--he'd seen it before they'd come up--but in the black and reds of the Tower it showed as a sort of gray like anything else colorful.

    But on Annie it looked great. There was no getting past that. Maybe Kerry was developing a finer eye for her, but the more dressed up he saw Annie, the better and better she looked.

    "I loved getting out," Kerry said, sliding up close to Annie. "Probably something we should do more often since they'll let us request a trip." Kerry was already wondering if a quiet lunch for Annie's birthday might be in order.
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    Raven Whitefeather
    1st Year Student
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    Join date : 2011-05-11
    Character Age : 17
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Raven Whitefeather on Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:51 am

    Raven made sure that she wasn't late to class. Raven was really glad that she kept running into Lina, but it was really odd cause the girl never rarely talked to her. It was rather odd, but she really enjoyed her company. She happened to run into Lina on the way up on the stairs and the two of them entered Bashagwani's classroom. Lina said her greeting first, then Raven said hers, "Evenin' Ma'am."



    <<ooc: I'm having a really off day today...i hope my writer's block goes away tomorrow.>>
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    Gillian Bridgeport
    1st Year Student
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    Join date : 2011-07-29
    Character Age : 17
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Gillian Bridgeport on Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:13 pm

    Finally making it to the stop of the stairs Gillian paused to catch her breath. She'd arrived at the school two weeks ago Wednesday and had missed the first Astronomy class, and last week's was canceled, so... Oh, gurl, she thought, why do they put the class all the way up here? She had no idea, but would love it if they just let them lay back on the flight pitch and stare up.

    Would be so much easier.

    She wandered into the main dome and instantly noticed (1) how dark it was except for this strange red light, (2) there was a lot of stuff you could trip into you, (3) she should have worn her leggings 'cause her knees were staring to shiver.

    Anyway there were 3 or 4 people already here--a bunch of girls and on guy standing by what looked like a bit telescope--the biggest of the ones laid out. Yah, sure, a guy would want the biggest, she thought, snickering to her self. She'd tried to understand what this instructor, Professor... Whatshername, tried to hell her, and she finally told Gillian to get something small. Which was fine with her. It wasn't like she was going to use it after school was over.

    Gillian wandered around looking for her telescope. She finally found one that she thought might be it, but there was no light here, and she couldn't read the placard....

    "Has anyone got a light?" she asked. "I'm not sure if this is mine."
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    Annie Krum
    1st Year Student
    1st Year Student

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    Join date : 2011-04-11
    Character Age : 18
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Annie Krum on Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:50 pm

    Annie smiled at Kerry. Would she ever get enough of him? Not a chance, she thought, leaning into him and resting her hand lightly on his chest.

    Just then, she heard someone asking for a light. That's odd. Whoever is asking should already know how to produce the red wand light required for this class. She glanced in the direction of the interruption and noticed their coven mate struggling. Pulling her own wand free, Annie said, "Lumos mollis rutila," and a red glow emerged from the tip of her wand.

    "Someone need a light?" Annie let go of Kerry, slipping her free hand into his, and joined their newest classmate.

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    Gillian Bridgeport
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    Join date : 2011-07-29
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Gillian Bridgeport on Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:50 pm

    Bathed in soft red light, Gillian looked past the glowing wand tip to the young girl with soft flowing curls. "Oh, thanks!" she said. She read the placard and nodded. "Yep! This is me. I thought it might, but..." She looked back to the girl with the wand. "You know, I gotta be sure, right?"

    She held out a hand. "I'm Gillian Bridgeport--but I let my friends call me Jill."
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    Annie Krum
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    Join date : 2011-04-11
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Annie Krum on Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:03 pm

    Annie shook Jill's hand. "I'm Annie and this is Kerry," she said, slipping her arm around Kerry's waist. "I don't remember seeing you in our first class." She glanced down at the outfit Jill was wearing. "It's a shame you missed it. You'll freeze tonight in that outfit."
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    Gillian Bridgeport
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    Join date : 2011-07-29
    Character Age : 17
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Gillian Bridgeport on Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:58 pm

    Oh, you could have told me that earlier, poppet! Gillian thought. "I didn't transfer into school until two Wednesdays ago," she said. "So I missed the first class, and there wasn't any last weeks and...."

    Gillian's eyes slipped to the arm this Annie girl had around Kerry boy's waist. "Um, is there a reason you're holding onto him so tight, Annie?" She suppressed the urge to giggle. "You aren't afraid of heights, are you?"
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    Kerry Malibey
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:04 pm

    Kerry giggled in return, 'cause that was the way he rolled. "Oh, Annie's fine with heights. You should see her on a broom." He gave a quick wink that he was sure no one could see in the darkened tower.

    "The reason she's holding onto me like this is 'cause she's my girlfriend." He whipped his own arm around her. "Plus, it's a great way to stay warm."
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    Annie Krum
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    Join date : 2011-04-11
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Annie Krum on Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:08 pm

    The light coming out of her wand tip dimmed for just a second before turning back to a brilliant red. Annie felt her shoulders tense and instinctively she pulled Kerry closer.

    She forced a tight smile as Kerry spoke. "You're a transfer? What school are you coming from?"
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    Gillian Bridgeport
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    Join date : 2011-07-29
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Gillian Bridgeport on Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:15 pm

    Boyfriend? Then Gillian remembered the stories she heard in the tower--well, in her dorm, actually--about the girl and the guy who were like 1st Years and totally into each other... yeah, these must be the two, she thought. She'd yet to decide if they were freaks or not. Time would tell.

    "I was suppose to go to Sky and Summit in Colorado," she said. "My mother went there, but my dad--he secretly hates all the New Age Shit they do there, and he wanted me to go to Pacific Cascades, where he went." She shrugged. "I was just about to get sorted into Sky and Summit and the Headmaster there pulls me out and apperates me home.

    "There's a weekend of fighting while they try to figure out where the hell they wanna send me, and finally the Ministry steps in and says, 'Home school or send her somewhere,' and since they don't want me at home, they finally go with what the goon says and send me here." She smiled ruefully. "Neutral ground, you know?"
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    Annie Krum
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    Join date : 2011-04-11
    Character Age : 18
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Annie Krum on Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:25 pm

    Annie giggled as Jill wrapped up her story. "Wow, that's...something." She lowered her wand-light and relaxed a bit.

    "I can sympathize with being bounced around schools," she said. "Salem is actually my third choice, but you have to go to school somewhere. I'm glad we've settled here though. This school just fits somehow."

    She grinned up at Kerry and gave him a slight squeeze. "How are you with stargazing? It looks like a great night for it."
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    Kerry Malibey
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    Join date : 2011-04-10
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:30 pm

    Kerry looked up. So far the nights had been, for the most part, great. Even last Tuesday, with no class, the sky had only had a few clouds. "I know the moon won't rise until later tonight," he said, "so I don't think we're going to be looking there."

    He turned to the new girl. "So, you like Astronomy, Jill?"
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    Gillian Bridgeport
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Gillian Bridgeport on Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:37 pm

    Gillian set her jaw and held her tongue. She had a thing with people getting to familiar with her right away, and got annoyed when someone started calling her "Jill" right away. I guess he wasn't listen when I said I only let my friends call me that, she thought, but then, he's a guy; they never listen!

    "I'm not one for sky gazing, Kerry," she said, slightly over-emphasizing his name to make a point. "I didn't realize until I got into school that you actually had to spend one night a week doing this."

    She clutched her arms around her for warmth. "Tell me I can get a jacket or something."
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    Annie Krum
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Annie Krum on Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:52 pm

    Annie caught the inflection right away and, just like that, decided Jill would be better off left to her own.

    "There are blankets. Maybe you should think about grabbing one so you can warm up before class starts." She stared into the coven-mates eyes and said, "We should be getting back to our telescopes. Good luck with the class, Gillian."

    Before Kerry had a chance to utter a goodbye, she was dragging him back toward his telescope and cursing herself for wanting to be helpful in the first place...
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    Gillian Bridgeport
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    Join date : 2011-07-29
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Gillian Bridgeport on Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:11 pm

    Gillian couldn't believe it! This... Annie just give her... tone and drags her boyfriend off and away. Like there's something wrong with me! she thought, stamping her foot.

    "We'll see about that," she said, muttering. "Now what the hell are we going to do?" Gillian was starting to wish she'd not only brought a jacket but her copy of Twilight. Oh... Edward... *sigh*.
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    Harpreet Bashagwani
    Professor
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    Character Age : 38
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Harpreet Bashagwani on Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:40 am

    Now that the students had managed to find a few moments of levity, it was time to start class. "Attention, my young scientist," Harpreet said as she approached the railing of the View Gallery, motioning the others to follow. "Tonight we will discuss objects in the sky--namely, the clusters, collections of gas and galaxies that make up our deep sky objects.

    "Most of what you see in the sky are close: the Moon, planets, even some stars. But move away from out little spot in the Milky Way and you discover remarkable things. The remains of burned out suns and the stellar nurseries that are nebula are the most widely known of these objects, having been seen by both Muggle and Non-Muggles alike for hundreds of years.

    "Look into the sky on any very bright, clear night, and one may even see these with the naked eye." She pointed to a spot almost directly overhead. "It is very difficult to see, but there, in Cepheus between Zeta Ceph and Alderamin, is IC 1396--also known as the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, a collection of hot gas that is creating stars as we speak. It may not look like much to the naked eye, but in a telescope, under prolonged exposure, it is a beautiful sight to behold.

    "Nebula are hot gases that glow with a variety of radiations. Viewing these radiations can tell us a great deal about what they are made of, and what may have made them. We know, based upon radio and infrared observations of IC 1396 that stars are being born there. Other nebula--like M1, the Crab Nabula--is all that is left of an exploded star, and the gas left over from the explosion--along with, at times, a small fragment of the star--is what we left to observe.

    "But there are other objects in the sky as well." Harpreet seemed to point to the same spot in the sky, but an astute observer would notice she wasn't. "There are clusters of stars, such as M39 the constellation Cygnus. Clusters are what they seem: a huge collection of stars close together--thought 'close' is a very loose term. M39 is known as an 'open cluster', which means the stars are within the same section of space, but there is still a good amount of distance between the individual stars: in this instance there are 30 stars within a volume of space 7 light years across.

    "We do not have any globular clusters tonight--" She looked towards the mountain as if expecting one to rise, "as they usually are creatures of the summer. A globular cluster is a huge collection of stars orbiting our galaxy, hundreds of thousands of very old stars all drawn together by their mutual attraction." She turned back to the students and smiled. "Come spring you will begin to see them.

    "As it is you might see one by looking up here--" Again Harpreet pointed into the sky, this time not far from the Great Square of Pegasus, where one could see something in the sky. "M31 may look like a fuzzy spot in the sky, just another ordinary grouping of stars. And it is--but there is nothing ordinary about it. M31 is the Andromeda Galaxy, and it is the farthest object we can normally see with the naked eye. It is like our galaxy, only a little more than twice as large. And because it is so big, we are able to see it even though M31 is 2.3 million light years away." She looked back to the students. "As I said last night, the sky is a time machine, and the light we are seeing tonight began its journey here when Homo habilis had been around for a few hundred thousand years."

    Harpreet looked over the eager and, yes, some bored faces and smiled. "Are there any questions?"
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    Annie Krum
    1st Year Student
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    Join date : 2011-04-11
    Character Age : 18
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Annie Krum on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:17 am

    Annie gazed up at the sky, wondering about the things their professor just told them. Back home, she would lie out--sometimes all night, and stare at the stars above her father's pitch. Most of the times that was after a particularly bad night... She grinned and glanced over at Kerry.

    She had to admit, they were far more fascinating than she'd given them credit for.

    When their professor asked for questions, she shook her head no and looked around to see if anyone else did.
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    Kerry Malibey
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    Join date : 2011-04-10
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:07 pm

    Kerry nodded slowly and said nothing. He saw the look of wonder in Annie's eyes, and he saw Raven and Lina off to one side, and then there was the new girl, sort of . . . well, "confused" didn't begin to describe the look on her face. Some people will never get this, he thought.

    Muttering, "No, Professor," Kerry waited for the lecture to continue.
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    Harpreet Bashagwani
    Professor
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Harpreet Bashagwani on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:49 pm

    When no one answered, Harpreet continued. "What we will do tonight is use our new telescopes to gaze upon the deep space objects in tonight's sky." She walked over to the nearest scope, one of the many reflectors. "As you may have noticed the sky seems to move because we are moving as the Earth rotates. So how, you may ask, does one manage to view an object for any period of times?" He looked around, knowing few would have the answer.

    She tapped the scope with her wand near the rotation joint and instantly a ghostly display appeared in mid-air. "Each scope is charmed with... you would call it a control panel in the Muggle world. Here you can punch in your currently location and time on Earth--if you don't know for sure, there is a menu--" She turned to Kerry and smiled. "We have learned a little from Muggle computers, Kerry... From here you can search your location. The time is on the wall, and we are at the base of Mount Katahdin--" She tapped on the display with her finger and within a minute the scope moved around so that it appeared to be looking at a location in the sky.

    "From here," Harpreet said, "You can punch in sky coordinates for objects. You may either get these from a menu and punch them in manually, or you can search for objects. Keep in mind the information in here is limited--and that is by choice." She looked over the students again, seeing if they'd lost interest. "The idea is that as you view more and more, you'll store those coordinates over time." She punched in a set of numbers and the scope positioned itself once more.

    "And, so you don't have to spend all your time looking through the eyepiece--" She tapped another spot on the display and another ghostly display appeared, seeming to rise out of the eyepiece. In the middle were two stars. "What you are seeing is Alpha Ursae Minoris, also know as Polaris, the North Star." She grinned, remembering the first time she saw this same display appear. "With stars this is easy; when you are viewing deep sky objects, you'll discover that the longer you view an object, the clearer it'll become...."

    She didn't want to go into the other details tonight; otherwise what to teach later? Not that some of them won't look over the controls, she thought. "Any questions, students?"
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    Annie Krum
    1st Year Student
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    Join date : 2011-04-11
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Annie Krum on Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:13 pm

    Annie stared wide eyed at the display, unable to make heads or tails of it. The glowing panels enticed her and she couldn't wait to try them out for herself.

    "That's amazing," she whispered to Kerry. She quickly shook her head once again and stared at the image of the stars in front of them.

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    Kerry Malibey
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    Join date : 2011-04-10
    Character Age : 17
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Kerry Malibey on Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:20 pm

    Kerry was beside himself. "Now that's what I'm talking about!" he whispered to no one save maybe Annie. A magical computerized interface! And Conor said this sort of tech was impossible!

    When Annie spoke, knocking Kerry back into reality, he nodded. "This is sweet," he said. "It's way ahead of anything my old scope had." He gave her a quick hug. "Don't worry; it's a lot easier than it looks."
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    Harpreet Bashagwani
    Professor
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    Re: Deep Sky Loving

    Post  Harpreet Bashagwani on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:10 pm

    "So what is our objective today, students?" It was a rhetorical question, so Harpreet didn't expect an answer. "To night we will set up our scopes to find items in the sky, and track them so we can capture a very good view of them. Between 22:00 and 00:15--or 10 PM to 12:15 AM--you will located and identify 5 different deep sky objects, either nebula, clusters or galaxies.

    "You will give the number by which they are identified--which can be found on the sky charts--and then give a very short write up of what you have seen. This write up can be delivered here, to the tower, by 6 PM tomorrow.

    "You can use your guides to find your way around the sky. Remember to set your local, or 'find', to Mount Katahdin, ME, and your local date and time to 2011-09-20, 22:00:00. From there you can advance your way through the night sky, and allow your telescope--with help from the sky charts--to lead you on a journey...."

    Harpreet clapped her hands. "Very well, my young scientist! Time to get to work!"

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