Monday, September 7, 2009
9-06-09 Jupiter And Sagittarius Street Astro
I was not sure who would be hanging around the Marina last night with it being a holiday and all but I wanted to get out and do some outreach. My astrobelly has been really full lately from the wonderful show of "Jupiter's No Moons - Triple Transit Treat" the other night and my latest online vto with my astropal Mr.Drive By Astronomy. As I was setting up the park ranger stopped by and inquired as to my celestial menu for the night and informed me that the park attendance was low. Undeterred I continued on my set up and low and behold people started coming out of the wood work to find out what was going on! Views of Jupiter and its foursome of intrepid moons keep them occupied at the scope as yours truly spent time doing Atlas presentations as to what they were viewing. Just before dark Torrie stopped by (bottom pic) with her genuine and friendly nature - "I am so glad your here, I need some astronomy!" she said. She has been a regular passerby and taker of celestial treats for many months now and really likes this astro outreach stuff. So last night she had her first opportunity to man the 10"Coulter(with the plumbing piece focuser) and move it around, point it. I wish you could have seen the smile on her face. She attentively watches and listens to my presentations and offers encouragement to passerby's to come and look. She left with a Star Atlas in hand and will be growing her information base in order to engage the public at a later time!
The fun gang in the top pic made several laps around the park and each time stopped to view and ask fun, intelligent questions concerning the universe. They were treated to views of Jupiter, Luna's terminator bisecting Mare Crisium, various Sagittarius star clusters(now out of the street lights!) and double stars. We shared presentations about scale sizes -stars and planets. All in all I had 42 visitors - I was a busy outreach guy!