Our weather continues relatively mild for this time of year so I was able to squeeze in two programs on Saturday and Sunday night with long lines and a obvious Ecliptic convict lineup for a personal booking and capture. "What is going on ?", "Is this normal?", "Is that a constellation?" were just some of the questions coming my way. All in all I had over 120 visitors over the two programs but what was important to me was the quality of observations and insight gained by these three ladies who had no prior telescope viewing experience and a relatively small exposure to astronomy.
Esmeralda came by with her family early on and had the first look on Saturday night. Full of life and excited to learn this youngster devoured Saturn, it's moons, ring shadow, and banding with hardly a sweat! Oh to have young eyes! Besides this her encouragement to her younger brother was impressive as she motivated him to make the same observations. When it came time for modeling and discussion she was right in the mix. A pleasure to be around this young girl's desire to learn and encourage others was a joy to behold.
Somethings are just meant to happen. Kathy was my last visitor on Saturday night. She works in the medical field and is a very educated person with a appreciation for the forces of nature that shape our world and universe. Not ever having time on a scope before she had C8's optics all to her self as she surveyed Saturn, double stars, and star clusters, enjoyed a personal constellation tour and picking out fine details along the way. Not only this she had a low horizon view of a rising Jupiter in our eastern skies. Obviously moved by it all her "nature bucket" was filled to the brim - for now!
Angela was engaged in her evening workout and was stopped dead in her tracks when she came upon the Sidewalk Guy on Sunday. What is going on here that one in the middle of a brisk pace, high heart rate, focused workout would stop to inquire? Maybe it was the crowd around the resource table listening to SUG banter about Saturn? How about C8's mature orange/grey good looks? Whatever it was the brakes were applied hard, eye glued to the scope, and the gears of her imagination began to turn as she saw sights never seen before. In a nut shell she was speechless, moved, and on her cell phone sharing her experience with friends. A work out of the observational kind ensued with Saturnine details falling to her gaze. Impressed with the faint moons on Saturn's sides she imagined a 3-D view and had a opportunity to explore a world that is far removed from us.
Thank you ladies for making my efforts so worthwhile!