Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Luna Jupiter Conjunction & A Two Inch Universe

Nice weather has arrived with great temps and a sky to behold. This Monday evening promises a nice show with Moon and Jupiter line dancing in our skies at a very convenient early evening time slot. This pairing also provides a very easy reference point for me to use in conjunction (ha ha) with the "The Two Inch Universe" activity, and my new Lunar poster! Yippee! Yes the Sidewalk Guy is very easily entertained.
Here is my set up for the evening. I changed my locale at the Marina to this spot that I have used before with morning waning moon/solar observes. But this evening the close by lighting will aid me in my presentation of this fun interactive/hands on activity. This whole activity can be done in about 10 minutes but will go longer for questions will arise!

Remember part of the deal here is that if you are to look you must also be willing to learn. Oh yes the views tonight with our clear skies is nothing short of breathtaking with CR150 doing the optical duties for this outing showing off a just 10 day Luna features (close up & personal) and a fun Jupiter moon disappearance act which a group of eight got to see! But just let me weave (as the SUG is known to do) the "Two Inch Universe" activity in to your sphere (personal bubble) without you knowing it is coming and engage your imagination and interview your understanding of how you see the universe. Scale activities really challenge the brain and bring out the curiosity in most folks.

Noreen met the Sidewalk Universe Guy 3 months back and has been looking for him since. In this time she has been telling Ron all about her cosmic experience seeing Jupiter, surveying the Lunar surface, and listening to SUG's excited banter over the sky show that evening. She really got a lot out of her prior visit! Tonight out for a few laps around the park energized with fresh StarBuck's Earle Grey Tea (did that smell good!) she and Ron stumble upon the SUG just in time to enjoy his new activity and views of celestial objects to inspire. Yes Ron the SUG is for real and now you too are ensnared in his web of astro fun. Being a good trooper he assisted Noreen with the activity of the evening being amazed how we can scale the universe local; Sun Earth Moon and Solar System, and distant; Milky Way & other Galaxies all right here on this park patio!

Though my numbers were lite, 23 total I enjoyed this outing giving me a chance to practice with the Two Inch Universe and to experiment with ways of introducing it. What I am finding is that I must place it in their hands right at the start - "Here look at this!" without introduction or invitation. There is a built in reluctance with many folks as this science learning is challenging and we for the most part do not want to be challenged. But once engaged with SUG's friendly demeanor and "Hey this fun" attitude most were ready to run with the full extent of this activity. Besides the views where worth the price of admission!


Johany said...

23 people is still a lot of people!!! Your fun enthusiasm for astronomy will hook anyone who comes to SUG's outreach! SUG is FUN!!! Go SUG!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Thanks Johany. I am a lot of fun and cuddly in a astronomical sort of way!

I am really having bunches of fun with the 2 Inch Universe activity. It is really easy to show the scale of things and it gets peoples attention and involvement quickly. Of course nice clear skies and CR150's sharp eye help!

My hook and crook are growing all the time!!!!!!

Phil said...

Keep up the great work, mate! I didn't do as much public outreach this year as I have had my head down with ym MA program. But reading your blog has inspired me to do more next year. Happy Turkey Day!


Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Phil - nice to hear from you again and glad you are encouraged to do some outreach. Your easy and friendly approach to our astro interest will reach a lot of folks.

Hey your in Texas right? How is the Chicken Fried Steak in your area? I know galaxy viewing should be fantastic!

Phil said...

I have to be honest, of all the delicious foods I have tried since moving here, I am not too keen on chicken fried steak. I have tried it but it did nothing for me. It may have been the venue (!). Chicken-fried Chicken is another matter. We really need that back home in Australia. It should be part of the basic food triangle/pyramid thingee. As should queso, smoked chicken quesadillas and chimichangas!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Phil indeed has the proper astro and food thing in order to participate on this blog!!!!!!