I took up amateur astronomy while teaching SCI104: Exploring the Universe a few years ago. We hold on-campus observation events from time to time and as part of SCI104 using the 5 and 8 inch Cassegrain telescopes of the department (thanks to KOLT for funding). If you are interested in attending these, contact the Science Society or the Astronomy and Space Society. Below are some photos from our observation sessions.
We also held two amateur astronomy workshops in the summer of 2019 (with Yiğit Uysallı and Ekin Özgönül) where two groups of students learned how to use Dobsonian and motorized Cassegrain telescopes over three sessions. If you are also interested in this, let me know, we can have more workshops.
OBSERVATION OF THE MERCURY TRANSIT ON MONDAY NOVEMBER 11, 2019
The last planetary transit before 2032 occurred on November 11, 2019. It was observable from our campus from late afternoon to sunset, theoretically that is. We set up a telescope with a solar filter at the student center balcony, but the skies were completely overcast… until 10 minutes to sunset! Those patient people who waited for two hours and some lucky ones who happened to be there at the right time were able to observe Mercury as a tiny dot on the orange Sun as seen through our filter. You can see some photos from the event below (thanks to Yeliz Utku Konca). One of them is taken through the eyepiece of the telescope which shows the disk of the Sun over the trees in the horizon. You can see a small dark region near the center which may or may not be Mercury, the blur due to our unsteady hands makes it hard to say. However, the black spot of Mercury was clear and sharp when we looked through the eyepiece.