Monday, August 31, 2009

8-30-09 Galileo Experience #4 Street Astro

This was my final outing for this week's astronomy blitz with the citizen's of Reno-Sparks NV. I had a nice evening with cool temps and lots of walkers about. I will try to change my location here for my next series of outings, not sure where yet but I know I will get inspired. I have had alot of fun with these latest events, very receptive folks who seemed genuinely appreciative of my effort to show off the universe to them.

Forrest here was one of my last visitors. He is a quite and polite young man who really pondered his views of Luna and Jupiter. In his own way you could see the gears turning in his head as he looked through the scope! I had 43 stop by to enjoy the celestial show and listen to the SUG's banter.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

8-29-09 Galileo Experience #3 Street Astro

What are some fun things that you like to do on a Saturday night with your friends and family? I realize that there are endless activities that can be said that will fill this time slot but I had a totally awesome time last night out on the byways of the Sparks Marina meeting and greeting locals and showing the biggest show of all - the universe. After a warm day the winds cleared out the air of its smoke from southern Cal fires which afforded us nice views of Luna and Jupiter. Folks were stopping by in droves to catch a view and get some education. The Moon and Jupiter provide a wonderful springboard which I use to move into different arenas of space science with my visitors. Most of my visitors have very little knowledge of Galileo, and just how significant his work was.

This fun group in the picture stayed with me 45 minutes taking in views and getting astrofied and then left to round up other family members to only return for another round of viewing. Their fellow family members where treated to the same fun telescope action in addition to views of the elusive Neptune, various double stars, poster presentations, and the opportunity to see 1 of Jupiters moons pass in front of another so they saw the blended light of these moons as one - COOL! Hangout with the Sidewalk Guy and things are gonna be happening!

I had 63 visitors and I was treated to a fun specialty Soda Pop and snacks by one kind group - thanks!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

8-28-09 Educator Enrichment Astronomy Time

I have not done any educator oriented things for quit sometime when Sierra Nevada Journey's contacted me a few weeks back to work with some of there educators on sky navigation/constellations/Lunar phase cycle I jumped on the opportunity to do so. What a fun time we had! This group was not prepared as to much is involved with the changing sky above us. But after 3 hours of exposure to SUG-RADIATION as my pal Drive By Astronomy calls it, and active hands on involvement they had a greater confidence, and knowledge base to lead their young charges to tackle the patterns of the sky. Next up with this fun group of high energy educators will be a lesson on employing the IYA GALILEOSCOPE and just what fun, simple observations can be made with it! Time to WOW some youngsters!

Thanks Adam for the opportunity, and your awesome organizational skills! (Lower -R)

8-27-09 Galileo Experience #2 Street Astro

Fun session once again with lots of curious and energetic visitors. Even with the assault of intermittent clouds and smoke from a fire down in Yosemite CA which decided to move in just as I was setting up we managed a fun time for my visitors of which there were 47. Lots of fun responses over Jupiter and the Mendez clan in the pic here really picked over my brain about the Solar System, nature of stars, planets, and Pluto's reclassification!

I think everyone should understand Jupiter's interior structure and the nature of Hydrogen gases under enormous pressures, temperatures, densities, don't you?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

8-24-09 Galileo Experience Street Astro

Hi every one I am back and ready to go with more sidewalk astronomy from Sparks NV. It has been a long hiatus but I now am able to do programs due to cooler temps and bright objects to see. I have looked forward to this season for sometime as we are celebrating the IYA and we have every one's favorite Jupiter to share. I am calling this new series of events "The Galileo Experience" as we will be reliving his observations of the heavens! With the Moon and Jupiter with it's moons being so available to see even in city setting there is no excuse to not go share these delights with my neighbors. And they will be able to share a similar view with the simple IYA GALILEO SCOPE purchased for this purpose to relieve with their own eyes events of the past that have shaped our world ever since. FUN!

My first outing had over 53 stop, look, ask questions and just get inspired a bit. This fun group in the picture were the first to use the Galileo Scope on the Moon and Jupiter. Lots of fun hands on education was happening and many excellent, thoughtful questions were raised about our Moon, and planets. I like this stuff. The lady on the right with the blue/white beach hat had such a look of excitement on her face has she viewed and listened to my presentations. When I offered a fun Moon navigation/Jupiter Moon transit session this Thursday she just about fell over!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Edi's Somewhat Dark Sky Outing With His Tag A Long Neighbor

Hi I'm Edi, and I am a growing astronomy addict. I have always had an ardent interest in the universe, science in general, and mathematics. So here I am with a crazy neighbor(SUG) to help spur me on, and my inquisitive daughter Rachel who likes anything new and novel. I decided it was time to get my scope out of my backyard and do some darker sky stuff. I realize I risk a lot to have SUG come along with me - he can get worked up easily, needs lots snacks, tends to commandeers others observing property and may even fry my brain as he mentors me in this stuff. But it is a risk I must take for every move I make is seen by him from his front porch has he monitors his house, lawn, shrubs, and the universe. Like early yesterday he's doing windows and Moon gazing at the same time. Anyway we head out North of Reno to a park in the foothills with the coyotes, sage hens, lizards, and snakes. We set up at dusk and Richard is already foaming at the mouth with a look of glee. "It's gonna be good" he says as he lines up my optics. Armed with my Telrad Charts, Deep Sky 600 I am ready to do this stuff. After some basic orientation from SUG I am let loose by him to do some celestial savaging - but he is nearby, never far off. I can hear him in the background cheering me on. Even with my vision weakness I can really see a lot - SUG says "just look, train your eyes, you will be able to see more than you think!" I'm learning the constellations and guide stars with polar north as my home base, and SUG's right, this is easy!

With my charts, map and new 10"Dob I start my hunt and I'm banging out Messiers left and right in Sagittarius. Photons from M 22, 28, 8, 20, 21 fall into the optics of my Dob in quick secession. M24, M17 fall as prey beneath the powers of my scope and new observing skills. Quick on to Scorpius before it gets to low is now corralled with M4, and M80 in my grasp. This is fun, easy, and a GREAT WAY TO SPEND A NIGHT WITH MY DAUGHTER. THE UNIVERSE IS MARVELOUS AND EASY TO LEARN AND ENJOY. There's more, hard to find M39 and M11 are now easy for me. "No time for a break" says SUG "lets look West and North West. I'm learning more constellations than I bargained for and it's back to my scope. M13, 92, are in my bag now and SUG swings my scope to the North East "now we are in our fall sky Edi, treasures are waiting for you - go get them pal"! More constellations, guide stars objects to there an end to this session with SUG? He's just warming up and I'm wearing out, but I press on under his tutelage. M103's little triangle of stars enters my view with SUG saying "it's a cute little thing", and you know he's right! M's 31, 32,110 are my first galaxies, cool! It's late, Rachel is asleep in the car and it's time to go but I hear in the background "one more Edi", "we can't leave yet". "OK" I mumble, and with my laser, which I got back, SUG says "point your scope here and just take it in and then we'll go". Oh my, I never saw such a sight and I'm not that ready to leave.................