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View Full Version : Starting a neighborhood astronomy night?



aReddishGreen
2008-Jan-15, 02:14 AM
So I just recently moved into a very family oriented sub-division and I had the idea of starting up some sort of regular neighborhood astronomy night open to anyone who wants to take a peek through a telescope. I really love talking with people about astronomy and showing them just how amazing all this stuff above our heads really is.

Has anyone here ever attempted to organize something like this or know of any resources that I could use to start planning this kind of event or even just some ideas of topics I could address? I honestly don't even know where exactly to start. I figured I would start a blog page with news updates and info on the different sessions along with follow up reports and the like.

The biggest issue I see is actually getting people up to a telescope. I personally have two (a 10" Meade LX5 on a wedge, and a 10" Newtonian on a dob mount). They both require some experience to operate effectively but there is only one of me!

I would appreciate any input people might have. Thanks!

aurora
2008-Jan-16, 12:34 AM
The only similar thing I've done is set a telescope up next to the road and let people look through it when they walk past.

Do people walk in your neighborhood? Or do they drive everywhere?

aReddishGreen
2008-Jan-16, 12:55 AM
There are mostly drivers, but quite a few people walk their dogs around... not that I would really want dogs around my telescopes. I can just imagine some dog getting excited and tangling its owner up in the tripod!

aurora
2008-Jan-16, 03:56 PM
People walking by are more likely to stop, although I have had people driving by who stopped and got out of their car to look through a telescope.

Basically, just setting up a telescope and offering people a look through the scope works well. If they are walking by, just saying "hi" will often cause them to ask what you are looking at, which then fosters a conversation.

If you know the weather is going to be good, you could put up a poster or something in advance, but just doing an informal session to show the sky to anyone that happens by works fairly well.

Edited to add links:

http://www.sidewalkastronomers.us/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidewalk_astronomy

http://www.sfsidewalkastronomers.org/