Saturday, January 10, 2009

1-10-09 Street Astro Full Moon Perigee/Venus Elongation

More of nature's happenings, just a bit more sublime. Moon's close approach was all over Yahoo today so I thought there would be lots of interest - and there was! And how about Venus's western elongation this weekend. Sounds like the makings of a great outreach time. I had over 63 visitors in 3 hours. We did plenty of modeling with the inflatables. At one time I had a group of 23 involved with the modeling. I am finding that people want to understand what is going on. They may read the web article, but the modeling really brings it home to them. I would say that most of my visitors were aware that something was up with the Moon - just the nature of what was happening was not understood. This young lady at the scope was one of our more studious participants. She was actively involved with ALL the modeling demonstrations and enjoyed the views. As the moon rose higher in the sky we were able to filter it down quite a bit and and view impact ejecta from Tycho, Kepler, Copernicus. Now I realize that full Moon is rarely a time of great observation for most amateurs, but it is a gold mine time to do outreach to the public. I am finding that the public wants to make sense of what is going on around them. The general impression I have of this is that lives are too busy to take the time to research, or more commonly that they are not smart enough to understand - the facts are to deep to comprehend. I hope to continue to dispel this with active outreach and engagement with the public. I am not a college grad, I am self taught, and I have a learning handicap. If I can love and understand this stuff I know others can. They have to have the opportunity to learn and be engaged! The Universe is accessible to everyone!

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