Friday, December 17, 2010

2011 Kick Off

Here's the new SUG outreach for 2011! This Meetup group is for adults of all ages, those hidden astrofiles in my area. I met so many who want to learn so now here's the chance! I will cut back on my street astro for 3 months and see how this goes. You can view the page at and just link over to the Reno site.

My goal is to invest in a folks who want to learn how to observe the sky. I will have a casual and fun approach because that is who I am. Many folks here use the Meetup as a way to network, meet, and be active with others with similar interests. I joined one of the hiking groups and have had a good time with it. Many here are outdoors oriented so I am expecting some to join in. I will try to contain my enthusiasm and excitement and I will not overwhelm anyone! PROMISE!!!!!!!

I will post my activities here along with the people and their stories I am expecting some good stories of discovery and fun.

By the way here's a little leftover from breakfast the other day with Tom and it was good but the leftovers where better! He is very supportive of this new effort and we drove around town investigating 2011 Street Astro sites. Thanks Tom for your support and kindness! He also ordered some new things for next years observing times - yes with SUG's coaching!!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

This Sunday the skies opened with nice temps and blue sky over head along with a 6 day Luna & Jupiter sky dance in our early evening to enjoy. I must get out to take in some sun against my face and share some photons with others. So after a quick power lunch I load the SUV and out the door to a power outreach! It has been several weeks since my last attempt and there must be folks out and about on this gorgeous day. My good friend Frank saved a perfect parking space for me at the Marina Park so my set up (ever growing) was quick and easy with Luna climbing in our sky by the minute. As I was setting up the park ranger stopped by to lend a hand and to thank me for the community service I provide - that was nice and encouraging! So I am stoked and ready to go with OJ humming along and my resource table loaded with learning fun. Who's first?

Juan (at the scope) was my first visitor and was impressed with the lunar view and the SUG's presence at the park. After his viewing and educational experience with the 2 Inch Universe he goes to his car and pulls this NOT SO FANCY BUT USABLE 4 inch (100mm) Eq mounted Newtonian telescope out of his back seat and inquires "can you help me with this? I found it at a yard sale and......" No problem Juan!

After a 25 minute set up lesson and tuning his scope is providing very nice lunar views. Juan was impressed that his scope at 55x and OJ the SCT at 55x provided the same view of the lunar surface! So back and forth he is going between the scopes and is just amazed at what his yard sale scope is showing.

And in this new found joy he is starting to share his scope with other visitors! It is impossible to contain the astronomy bug! Juan spent 2 hours with me watching and learning all the time being a kid with a fabulous new toy and experiencing the joy of telling others to come look for themselves.

This sunny little red head Mila and her dad James had a blast this sunny Sunday afternoon. Both grabbed on to this street astro stuff with gusto. Mila experienced the lunar surface with both low power wide field views and medium power views of mountain ranges and craters which "looked like donuts on the moon" to her! This kid was thrilled with the new vistas before her eyes. James as had some science in his college years but this educational experience placed astronomy within his fingertips. All the theories and text book learning had no comparison to seeing Luna and Jupiter live and in your own eye!

Timing is everything. Juan and his son Christian came by earlier to partake of the 2 Inch Universe and to enjoy late afternoon Lunar views. But Jupiter was on their minds and at dark they are ready to get down with the Solar System giant and its prancing moons! And what a show they saw with the largest moon in our Solar System - Ganymede coming out of transit into view and right on time to boot! Here is celestial movement in plain view. First there were 3 moons in sight and and now 4! "How does the SUG know the timing of this stuff?" is a question being asked by the group of 6 gathered for this show.

Like the universe and its many mysteries the SUG must keep certain knowledge hidden so he does not loose his sidewalk mojo with the public!

48 visitors enjoyed the show this day.