It has been a while since I have had a chance to do a evening outreach at the Sparks Marina Park. Mostly I have been inhibited by weather and motivation.
Last few attempts at this long term location have lack energy and interest by park users. The rangers like me enough as they check in on me, keep things safe and give me preference with parking etc.
But with our milder weather and a awesome conjunction of Saturn & Porrima here was a golden opportunity to show off the Zodiac. So lets give it a go!
What I noticed on this outing was the "power of planets" to inspire just the right questions I was looking for: "How do you know if it is a star or planet?" "Where are the other planets right now"? When can I see them?" "How far, how big are they, and how long do they take to orbit the Earth (no kidding) or Sun?"
"Are you the SUG we heard about or should we look for another?" "What kind of snacks does the SUG like?" All of these are important questions! So armed with scope and zodiacal poster courtesy of the ASP out I go to inform the masses.
Brian made my night. Out for his exercise in the cool of the mid evening here is the SUG and his telescope available for his enrichment. Enamored Brian was with the Saturn views, Zodiac navigation, star distance and size activities. And to he was treated to various double stars in Libra and Canes Venatici easily seeing color and magnitude differences. For one hour the skies were his and in his experience he was encouraging others to stop and have some astronomy fun! His friendly and genuine demeanor defusing any fear or indifference from other walkers.
I think I'll ask Brian to be my on site PR Guy - "PRSUG"! 37 visitors this evening :)