Friday, May 8, 2009

5/7-9/09 " More Moon" And Saturn Street Astro

I had not planned to go out this evening but it was so pretty - spring is finally here! "More Moon" tonight, not full just yet though many would say that it is full. " More Moon" is a phrase I coined when Luna is 1 day or so out from full or one day past full. Along with Saturn in a predominate place in Leo sounds like the making of a fun program to give to the general public. I had just started to set up the scope when folks began to stop by to inquire and before I had the tripod set in place I had a line a eager astronomy deprived folks wanting a look at the "full moon"already 12 degrees above the foothills in the southeast with the Sun just barely set. Not a full moon but a "More Moon". What an opportunity to model Luna's revolution around the Earth and her phase cycle. I bet I will now have some folks looking for that true full moon today at sun set with new info and skills for determining when that is! Well with all this activity I had no time to set up my resource table has the line of inquires was growing and questions coming from all sides! We finally made it to Saturn and the lines grew longer so I had to wing it tonight without my teaching aids. This nice couple came by toward the end of the evening and totally enjoyed Saturn and it's moons. We had an excellent discussion about the universe as a whole and man's experience with it both in scientific and philosophical terms. All of us need to experience the wonderful cosmos first hand with our own eyes, mind, soul and spirit. I had 54 visitors tonight and I only wish I could have given more personal attention to them!

I decided to try a Saturday night program and I am glad I did. Shortly after setting up on the west side of the Sparks Marina I had a line of interested folks anticipating a view of Saturn. One fellow by the name of Jim, came by early on and was glued to the scope enjoying Saturn and later in the evening was doing detailed lunar and double star observations. He stayed with our program tonight for 2 hours just taking it all in! I left my camera at home so no picture of Jim but I'm sure I well be seeing him again. All in all I had fun people to work with, and a total of 45 visitors exposed to the universe.


Ian said...

I am glad you had such an interesting night!
54 people... jeeeze I would have gone crazy!!
read my post; friday nights; when you get a chance... you will get a laugh out of it I am sure!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Ian you are so right, there is something special about Friday nights and you have captured it very nicely in your posting! Great memories in the building of that scope and the antics of growing up!

Drive-by Astronomy said...

You certainly can expertly handle the astronomy starved populace of Sparks, NV. You definitely got your Astronomy game on! Nice work Rich! Other than astronomy day I've been too busy with work, family and house duties to do much in the way of impromptu public astronomy. I did do a Wednesday morning presentation at a Buffalo city school I went to kindergarten at 45 years ago! It was a blast but I thought everything looked smaller than I remembered it.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Mike, how did your Astronomy Day efforts pan out - I have been waiting for your postings and pics!

I bet it was fun to go back to your old school and be with the kids for awhile! What was your presentation about? My have we grown.

Thanks again for the encouragement, to be honest I thought these two outings were the weakest of all I have done so far - I felt a bit scattered and not focused, but if I was able to inspire a few then it is all good!

One thing that came out of the 5/7 event is that the local paper wants to do a write up on my program! One of paper's employees was a visitor and was really wowed.

Drive-by Astronomy said...

Awesome! I think you've more than earned some nice press coverage for all your great efforts. Make sure you let me know if it happens.

I actually joined a group of college students from the University of Buffalo(see my April 10th post)who have a club know as "Students for the Exploration and Development of Space" on campus( My part was just to show different types of telescopes. I brought my Televue 101, 6omm Coronado, 10"Zhumell Dob, 8" Celestron SCT, and a small astroscan. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time for the kids to observe the sun through the H-alpha scope.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Mike, you need one more scope and will have a telescope 6 pack!

Nice assortment there!