Raoul Lannoy


Observation for detainees


Last december 14th, I went to  a prison (Marneffe, Liege province). We were 3 from various clubs (me, Linda and Serge) to pass the checkpoint an go to a place with a noth-west free sky visibiliy (there are lots of spotlights all around). Linda had arranged this visit and it was starry but cold. We deployed ou instruments and saw ISS pass over us. Then came a group of detainees. W shook hands and Linda (with her ACS 6 inches) could go from one object to the other. My Dobson 12 inches took a while to prepare. I could show Vega, Alcor, Mizar, Albireo and other objects...It's true that a Goto (which my telescope is not) could be a lot more useful under these circumstances. We couldn't show Orion and Jupiter which were in the wrong direction. We also talked a lote explaining what we saw, what we do. One of them knew a bit more about astronomy and he helped us explain to his comrades what it was about. He wrote later a very moving best wishes letter for 2015 to Linda. We had about 90 minutes to show the sky and explain. When we left Linda, Serge and myself hugged each other, realizing the interest of our unusual  event. Thses guys have hardly ever something out of the ordinary going on and this visit was very special to them too.



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    About Me

    Born in Belgium in 1957 (from a Belgian father and an American mother). Here, everything seems a lot more complicated: more taxes, more government, more languages, more people per square kilometer or mile, more light pollution, but, nevertheless, as much passion for things going on up there, naturally or man made. This was thanks to the first time I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey back in 1968, followed by the promises of the Moon. One weakness was my dislike for maths, which led to human science studies (law and a specialization in insurance). I've been working since 1982 in the...


    Location:Antwerp, Antwerp
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