Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back in the Saddle/Star Comparative Street Astro.

After a long break it was time to start meeting the public again. Cooler than normal weather for a mid July evening is going to bring people out - and out they were in droves! Just setting up the Sidewalk Guy has folks stopping by left and right, forward and to my back they came to see what this is all about! "Are you the astronomy guy we've heard about" was asked over and over. "We have been waiting for you to show up" was heard many times over. Nice to be wanted! Jeff in the lower pic was very excited to see me. "You are getting me out of my ignorance of the universe" he said and "I am learning so much from my visits with you, my whole neighborhood waits for you to show up and I want more astronomy!" WOW! Well Jeff could not stay long this night but he got an eyeful of Saturn and a NASA DVD that will feed him for now. "When will you be back with another fix" he said with all seriousness. Jeff left proudly wearing a IYA button and bookmark in his shirt pocket - another junkie is borne!

The Garcia clan on the top with my friend Jerry who offers continual moral support for my efforts really got a show of shows last night:
  • Views of colorful double/multiple stars such as 61CYG, BETA CYG, OMICRON CYG, BETA LYR.
  • Views of star clusters in Cygnus.
  • How about Jupiter with it's moons in a row.
  • How about Neptune which they were some of the first to see it this year.
  • Hey how about a massive stellar traffic jam M22 in Sagittarius.
  • And lets not leave out a pretty 3rd quarter Moon on the rise in the eastern foothills!
And these guys wanted more but it was time to go. Hopefully the NASA handouts will keep them busy for awhile! I had a total of 63 visitors. I drove home with the Moon guiding me in my windshield view, awesome night!

UPDATE: 7/19/09 Star Comparative Street Astronomy.

Sunday night outreach at the Marina featuring the universe's primary constituent: Stars. We compared star color, magnitude, size/mass, and stellar life cycle with the fun Chandra Stellar Evo Chart and views through the scope. I had 46 visitors with one special family who received a National Geographic Star Atlas as a gift for their interest level and enthusiasm. Dad was speechless, their daughter smiled with glee, and mom was bought to tears. Here's a wonderful opportunity to learn about and explore the cosmos. After they spend sometime studying the basics they join the Sidewalk Guy to learn how to use the star charts. Hook'm and Reel'm in!


Drive-by Astronomy said...

He's back and bigger than ever. You're amazing and what a following you have created. Great views you provided and what a treat for people to see that mysterious gas giant Neptune. Love the "Stellar Traffic Jam".. I'm stealing that line too. I'll try to credit you when I think too. Glad you had a great time

Sidewalk Universe said...

You can steal whatever you like except my Rukl atlas......

"Bigger than ever" in fact I have put on a little bulk since my last outing! But I went down 2 belt notches too. Oh bigger belt!

"Mysterious gas giant Neptune" actually it was more of a mysterious pinpoint, blue in color to visitors."That's a planet?" said one visitor "it doesn't look like the picture in the book". Well it is over 4 billion miles away!

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

wow didn't it feel great to drive back home after such an accomplishment with your beloved Luna celebrating with you ? Wow like I wrote of getting into bed in wonder thinking wow at another night of amazing space. That's amazing about someone suddenly blurting they have been waiting for you wow that is really something dude. He looks REALLY happy.Do you ever make videos of your visits? that would be enjoyed, and you can sit back and see from a different prospective how your impacting others.

I was looking at the moons lined up with Jupiter!
How did you get into being the sidewalk dude? that would be interesting to read. He sounds like a geeked out new junkie. It was an awesome night !
I was in my backyard and thru trees of the next door neibors i saw a light ..hmmm venus isn't due to rise .. I ran to the front of my house and the view down the street and a cut in half moon was amazing. yet again i yelled ..woooooooow! then the thought of shh people are sleeping. their loss.

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

stellar traffic jam .. i love those! specially hercules keyhole cluster.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey NSG, I in my mind's eye I see you running down the street in your pj pants, red sweater, and slippers at 2 a.m. knocking on doors and telling folks to come to your backyard to share in the fun AS YOUR PUPPY PAL HOWLS AT THE MOON!

Marc said...

Sounds like a great night. We had a couple of families out last night while in the park at Mississauga. It is a great feeling.

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

I came up with a good name for your telescope dude !!
It presents all kinds of astronomy adventures for your passerby's .. your a great teacher, your telescope is a great teacher. I thought it gives people adventures for the mind thinking of questions to ask you, wonder about what they are looking at and probably think of their sights they saw in your telescope till they fall asleep. So last night i started at your first post and working my way to your latest tonight..reading your sense of accomplishment & enjoyment that you get out of every visit to the side walk. I woke up and while wrapped in a blanket with my coffee and astronomy magazine I thought of your fact that you haven't named it and thought of the people's faces you were talking about. The name of your scope is ....


NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

i forgot to ask -- what are the 2 cd's you give people to take home?

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Marc, I am so glad that you had a good session in the park. Just about every time out has something or someone that is special. And you have a nice fleet of scopes for folks to enjoy and a great knowledge base to share from!

Hey NSG, thanks for your thoughts and encouragement in all this. One of the things I really like about you, Mr.Drive By, Urban Astro, and Marc is the heart of this astronomy thing that we share. It is not about facts, figures, theories etc it is about the human element and how it all effects us and what we do with it - share it with others.

You really touched on something that is very important to me.I want my visitors to think about what they are seeing and to leave my little outpost thinking about it for a while. I want them to remember what they saw and gain a desire to grow within that experience. I hope they are seeing that view in their minds as they fall asleep! Great insight NSG. LET ALL OF US HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO IMPACT LIVES IN SUCH A WAY AS THAT.