Full Moon at the Spa

Therme Oberlaa, October 4th, 2009

Full Moon Evenings at the Spa Oberlaa in Vienna are an unmistakable sign that autumn has begun. This year the programme of the first event in this series was astronomy. Tonight's temperatures remind you of a mild summer evening, so that many guests at the spa decide to dine outside on the terrace. Sunday night after a summer-like day in October does not promise a full spa, however, the astronomy station attracts interested people.

Advertising posters for the event

The presenter's desk: Telescope with video camera, Computer with imaging software and Starry Night

The first object of the evening is Jupiter. The picture of the planet and its moons is broadcast live onto a large screen in the indoor swimming pool. After a short live talk via loudspeakers and video screen about the gas giant Jupiter and its moons, the guests at the spa are invited to watch the planet through an 18-inch telescope.

Jupiter is shown on the large screen above the pool

Jupiter, indoor ...

... and outdoor, live through the 18" telescope

Astronomy is fun for all

Europa, Jupiter, Io, Ganymede and Callisto

A session of underwater gymnastics gives astronomy a break. Then the Moon - actually half a day after full Moon, which took place at 08.40 MEST - is the next point of interest.

The Moon and Jupiter in the sky above the Spa

A small video camera captures the Moon

Looking at the Moon

Now, the Moon's image is shown at the pool

Video image of the Moon (we use an Imaging Source CCD video camera)

Later a last look at Jupiter ends the programme.

Angela Steinkellner, Director of Marketing of the Spa, is looking at ...

... Jupiter

Of course the seeing created by the warm water in the spa was horrible. But it was possible to bring some astronomy to the people - and that is all that counts in the Year of Astronomy. Co-operations, like the one with the Spa Oberlaa, are essential for imparting astronomy. Bringing knowledge to places where many curious people come together is more up to date than sitting back and waiting for interested people to drop in. We are open for all kinds of co-operations.

Text: Anneliese Haika; Images: Alexander Pikhard.