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General Astronomy >> Outreach

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WillCarney
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/08/09

Loc: Bloomington, ILL
Unscheduled outreach
      #6146017 - 10/19/13 02:52 AM

I recently had an occasion to do some unscheduled outreach. I was looking for a new location when I happened to talk to a teenager riding his bike by. He directed me to a certain public property location and said he might be back. Later after dark he and his mother stayed for over an hour while we talked and I showed them various things in the telescope. We had a second observing session just a few days later. You never know when you are going to do an impromptu outreach. In this case it provided me with a new dark sky site. They both enjoyed looking through the telescope as well. Sometimes a good outreach is an unscheduled one with just a few people at a location not usually used by you or your club.

So never be “too busy” for an unscheduled outreach. You might just end up with a darker site to observe or a new member for your club.

While having a standard observing site and scheduled observing sessions can bring in larger numbers there is often those times like this one where just a few people can be treated to the wonders of observing. It made a difference to them.

William


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Skylook123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Unscheduled outreach new [Re: WillCarney]
      #6146348 - 10/19/13 10:22 AM

We have a local state park, with a terrain that nicely blocks nearby lights in an urban shopping and five lane road area, that allows astronomers in to set up telescopes at no entrance fee if they promise to allow visitors coming off the trail head or in the campground to come over and share the view. About a dozen of us in our club have occasionally used that opportunity, and over about four different nights, we had about five visitors total come over! Not an imposition at all, we made some new friends, and the effect on the visitors was really priceless.

The park now has three scheduled outreach events each year with formal press releases and publicity, and we have about a dozen of us set up and get nearly three hundred visitors in a night. Some of us have become volunteer Resource Inventory Managers for the night environment at the park and are well on the way to getting the park International Dark Sky Park status. All because we decided to try some ad hoc unscheduled observing and outreach.


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