Saturday, May 1, 2010

Downtown Sparks Planet Show Off

Friday night and where are the people? Movie theaters! So off to the Sparks NV Victorian Square City Center and the Century Movie Theater with it's nice lawn, reasonable sky and people! Besides the theater staff likes me and they will watch my gear when I need a potty break! Even with the city lighting I have good views to the east and west. Winds were light but steady so my planned resource table activities had to be scraped. Tonight Saturn, Mars, and Venus had top billing. Many were very surprised by the views: just how small Mars is, Venus's gibbous cue ball look, and Saturn's edge on rings. Polaris's true identity was reviled as a distant variable/binary system. Castor's multiple members were shown. Rigel's brilliance with the subtlety of it's companion compared. A lot of astronomy can be done out here along with some educating. Let's not forget the Zodiac which is the path of the Planets, Moon, and Sun along our sky . Let's compare Planet and Star sizes while we are here. I had 43 visitors tonight who left with a new experience under their belts and hopefully a greater curiosity about the universe around them.


Paulie said...

Wow, you looked at all that with no help? How many scopes did you use? I don't mind going it alone, since I don't know of anybody local who would do this, but now that I have two modest scopes, I couldn't imagine trying to go public with only one. I try to get a showpiece in each one, usually Saturn & the Moon, since I've only been doing public stuff on my own for a month and a half. In fact, I've only went out once without the Moon. It's something that shows up nicely in my 4.5"

I don't really like to move the scopes around from object to object, especially when it gets busy. I've got too much to do to worry about, "Hmmm... what should I show next?" If there aren't many people around, and if I have somebody who seems really into it, I'll give them a look at Mars or Venus, but point out there isn't much to see with those two.

Thanks for the blue filter tip, btw. It might be awhile before I can get one, but I'll keep it in mind. I'm always appreciative of any advice from somebody who's been doing this longer than I have.

Sidewalk Universe said...

One scope most of the time because my resource table is the education center. I tend to be at ease working with crowds but I also strive to give personal attention to everyone. I do not mind people walking off if I am engaged with one interested person/group. It is very common for me to spend an average of 25 minutes + with smaller groups doing hands on stuff. I have had folks stay with me 1-2 hours because of the personal attention. Quality of each encounter is important to me.

To be honest my reputation is building because of this - folks are seeing but learning too....

I will not let a line or a group of people pressure me or rush me. They have entered into my space and my program. If they are patient they will be rewarded with a good experience. Once folks see how I work with the people in front of them they will wait most times.

Also as they are on line they can listen in, and they are handed materials to glance at and learn from. Again my resource table is as important has my scope!

Both Venus & Mars even without a knockout view are excellent teaching ground for me and this is where my hands on, large pic book/atlas, poster presentations come in.

I am a people person so part of this is personality too!

You are doing a great job taking what you have and sharing it and you will find the right combo for you. My neighbor went out with me on one of my programs and he was blown away by the amount of energy, time, patience, is required for this. The fact that your doing this now shows you have all the ingredients and you will have a top notch program and reputation soon!

Paulie said...

Wow, I find that so many people are in a hurry that it's hard to give them a lot of attention. If they're willing to hang around, I answer whatever I can, or at least point them on the right direction. I can't blame people for wanting to tke a quick peek then split, since in a way I'm intruding on their plans or errands. I can't believe that so many of your visitors would spend so much time. That would be awesome.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Part of the issue may be your location. At a shopping center people are generally in a rush. Try some other venues - public square, park, shopping mall, restaurant front. Folks will be less prone to put you on their time frames.

I feel the bottom line is exposure either short or more in depth - quick looks are good and some outreach folks are fine with that. But I am not wired that way so I order my program accordingly which is to engage, interview, educate, and show a view. I find that when I'm doing this I am energized and my guest can pick up on this and their level of expectancy builds right in front of me.

I think a year from now you will know more about what you want to do with all of this. But you are enriching lives now and that is always rewarding! Stay with this as you are learning new skill sets.

Drive-by Astronomy said...

What better place to see local Sparks, NV celetial outreach celebrity than at the local movie theatre! He is a rather dashing leading man in the astronomy outreach circles. THere is of course an amazing leading lady in his life that resides off stage and out of the lime light.

Some day the paparazzi will find him and hound him relentlessly wherever he travels.

Great job SUG... awesome outreach. You are the Sultan of 'Stronomy

Drive-by Astronomy said...

Paulie it looks like you are doing fine work also. Keep it going.

Sidewalk Universe said...

We need to encourage our mid-western astro guy as he is a kindred spirit in outreach.

Drive-by you once again pull words out of our hat that have to be added to the English!

Drive-by Astronomy said...

Now appearing at a local theater near you:
The SUGster starring in "Astroblaca"
Here's looking at you...SUG!

Johany said...

Hey SUG,
I would love to hear your opinion on what you think of Astrology. Do you think it's a load of doo-doo or something that is based on facts? I'm not talking about horoscopes. I'm talking about the usual pre-natal charts and how the moon's north and south nodes and the planets allege to have an influence on people's lives.

I would love to hear everyone's input on this, including Paulie, and my other buddy Drive-by! Thanks!

Sidewalk Universe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johany said...

I am so sorry for that bad experience you had that night! I can't believe how nasty they were. That is not cool! Sure, people have a right to believe in what they want but they shouldn't get nasty about it!!! Those two just wanted to fight about who's right and who's wrong!

The other day I was browsing through the internet and I came upon this thing in astrology called the north and south nodes. According to astrologists the north node is the path that you should take in life to achieve happiness and success. And the south node is the path that you need to leave behind because it does not work for you in this lifetime.

Well, I looked at my north and south nodes out of curiosity and lo and behold it told me that I should leave behind any tendencies that make me want to feel connected with the universe and the cosmos. And what is one thing that I do that makes me feel connected everytime to the cosmos? Yup, you guessed it, Astronomy!

I don't think I can EVER or want to ever leave my love for astronomy. But it says if I don't leave it behind I will never achieve true success and happiness in my life. That I need to embrace all the qualities of my north node instead.

My question is, aren't we as individuals in charge of our own fate, our own destiny? Do we need to rely on our charts to live our lives fully or do we rely on ourselves? How accurate are these charts anyway? I would love to hear what you think!!!

Again, I'm so sorry that your outreach was ruined by those 2 people. Hopefully you told them a good word or two! Whatever it was I'm sure they deserved it!!!

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

Hey Richie!

I came upon a link you might like to take a look at. Image of the Sun on someone's hand.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey NSG thanks for the link! Fun indeed!

Hey Johany you ask big, and personal questions! Thank you for your level of trust with your fellow long distance astro blogger.

Some thoughts: I want to see you and everyone enjoy this universe of ours. The fact that it has and is bringing a level of excitement, curiosity, and a desire to share it shows that this is a good pursuit for you.

I have had folks from all kinds of religious/philosophical world views tell me I'm wasting my time. Then why does this astro thing continue to drive me forward and produce good things in my life? Why does it open up positive connection with others? Why are people expressing their sincere gratitude after a SUG session? Why has my personal life been so enriched? This must be good for me!

How much stock do you want to take in these impersonal readings? What is your life experience telling you?

What has shaped and directed my life is me taking stock of what motivates me to live my life well with joy and excitement. Do not be enslaved to things that break up this in your life. I love the heavens but they do not control my life. My choices, values, morals, passions, talents direct my path. Fear as a general rule never governs my choices.

If I had listened to other voices in the past there would be NO Sidewalk Universe Guy today sharing the sky with the public and my life would be less.

Please do not lose this new spark in your life. You have years of positive things ahead of you within this astronomy thing. There is a wonderful potential for good experiences educating others to look up and enjoy nature. How can this be wrong for anyone?

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Johany by the way my mind continues to think of ways to reach the today's 3rd quarter moon in the morning sky.

I want to find a place where I can show her off along with the sun during the morning hours. Can you imagine the reactions? Early morning astro, what's this?

As I pondered this some fear ran through my brain IMAGINING ALL THE NEGATIVE REACTIONS ECT FROM PEOPLE.

Now several hours later my brain will not let this go. I am going to do waning moon programs some how, some way, at some location and folks will respond well to this!

Fear will not govern me in my passion........

Johany said...


You couldn't have said it better!!! You are so right in the fact that the heavens shouldn't control your life. You do. Every individual choice that you make comes from you, not from some astrological force that can't be measured or seen.

And if astronomy brings such passion and joy to my life why shouldn't I keep with it? Because my north nodes say I shouldn't because it's not beneficial for me? No thank you.

Thanks again for all of your input. It's greatly appreciated! Let me know how the moon viewing session turns out!

You know what I've been craving for lately? Some HEOC! Healthy Eating and Observing Club! That ALWAYS puts me in the mood for some observing sessions!!! Nothing like good food and some astronomy!!!

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