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!