These were collected over several public events at Fremont Peak.
Me: Would you like to hop up the ladder and look at Venus?
Guest: Sure! <climbs ladder and looks through eyepiece> Oh wow, that’s the moon!
Me: Uh.. no, that’s Venus. The moon is behind you.
Guest: It’s the moon, I can see the moon!
Me: No, you’re seeing the planet Venus. The moon is behind you. Venus looks like a crescent right now, but it’s definitely Venus, not the moon.
Guest: (looking dubious): Well it *looks* like the moon!
Guest (looking at the lagoon nebula): How come it’s not in color?
Me: It is, it’s just very faint color.
Guest: I’ve seen color pictures like this, though!
Me: Yes, the pictures you see on the NASA website were mostly taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The HST doesn’t have to look through hundreds of miles of atmosphere. Also, a lot of the photographs you see from the Hubble Space Telescope are in false color. If you were to put a camera on this telescope and let it take a long exposure, say 30 minutes, of this nebula, you’d be able to see some color too.
Guest (Referring to the 30-inch Challenger): This must not be a very good telescope!
Guest: What’s the brightest star in the sky?
Me: The Sun.
Guest: What? The Sun’s not a star!
Guest: Is the Sun in our solar system?
More to come…