Monday, May 18, 2009

5-17-09 Long Lines and Late Night Street Astronomy

Here go again after another longer than expected break than - this evenings program more than made up for any down time ! I had over 70 visitors with the warm of a mid-spring evening and early morning. People were out in mass and enthusiasm! Barely had the scope set up and a line of 20 plus and as folks filtered through the line just grew! Needless to say my encounters were brief and I did not have ample opportunity to dispel all the pseudo-science and misconceptions there but several where exposed to a Solar System presentation. There was lots of laughter and fun conversation between folks as they waited to view Saturn along with delight over the free astronomy handouts from NASA. If folks are happy just being together sharing in something bigger than all of us it is good! The Universal Unifier - the Universe!

Torrie in the pic has been a regular visitor to my little cosmic outpost, and was one of my very first visitors right at the beginning of Sidewalk Universe back in November '08. She is a warm and friendly person who loves nature and science and comes by to absorb photons and smile at all the nature presents to us. Torrie works for one of our local non-profits in community service work and like many is very curious about how nature works but not a science major type person. Her constant awe over what she observes, how it effects her is a joy to listen to. Last night we started on sky navigation with her and she had the very first views of of early summer objects low on the horizon! She is always breaking new ground with this outreach!

Needless to say it was a very late night - but folks like Torrie make this so worthwhile. I got home at a very insane hour with the summer sky ensconced in the east and southeast without the park light pollution and just spent time taking it in with a bowl of cereal in hand. My back yard is my little refuge, and the universe is my playground and bully pulpit. I am one very fortunate person!


Drive-by Astronomy said...

You always make it look easy all this astronomy outreach stuff. I'm very jealous of you're amount of "Drive-by Astronomy". I have been significantly slacking in my impromptu astronomy outreach. I think I need to find a street corner soon, but there always seems to be either a planned event or family/work commitment. Great job as always. You can really handle the crowds. 70 is a really nice numbers of folks to "space out" with in a evening.
I did have a nice out last night in the 'burbs doing some personal observing. It was a beautiful cool night in Western NY.
You're out there so much I could probably google earth Sparks, NV and I would see you at the Marina with a crowd lined up at your scope!

Sidewalk Universe said...

I have noticed Miguel that you get to do some really neat events in your neck of the woods! This location is very convenient and attracts a bunch of folks so it is easy to go and do. Besides I have the time right now and it is a good outlet for me!

Check it out on Google Earth - I'm on the Eastern side of the "pond" next to the big blue building!