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John Dobson scope continues to do sidewalk astronomy

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#1 Augustus

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 09:16 AM

The other night I decided to try something different and set up the 8" f/6 in front of a nightclub on a very busy street at a crosswalk. Something like 300 people looked at Saturn and Jupiter through it.

 

IMG_2172.jpeg

 

Really remarkable how many people you can share this experience with without any sort of advertising, signage etc. - what's more is a lot of people actually already knew those dots in the sky were Jupiter and Saturn!


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#2 Binofrac

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 09:28 AM

These one man outreach evenings are really satisfying. Many people are enthralled by the view through the telescope. I find it very rewarding.


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#3 E-Ray

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 07:15 AM

Wonderful! I do a lot of outreach but never thought about doing one outside a nightclub. I'm guessing the crowd was much younger, correct?

 

Ed


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#4 Augustus

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 09:38 AM

Wonderful! I do a lot of outreach but never thought about doing one outside a nightclub. I'm guessing the crowd was much younger, correct?

Ed


Yep! Very enthusiastic younger folks
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#5 Ptarmigan

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 07:42 PM

Saturn and Jupiter are always the winner for outreach. People really want to see Saturn. cool.gif

 

Interesting about a nightclub for outreach.


Edited by Ptarmigan, 14 September 2021 - 07:45 PM.

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#6 Creedence

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 08:17 PM

It really is remarkable how many people harbor some innate fascination with astronomy, yet how rarely that evolves into an active interest. I can’t think of a single topic or hobby that people are almost instinctively drawn to that translates to so few active followers.

Not lamenting- this takes time, patience, sacrifice with weird hours, etc. This doesn’t fit in easily with modern life, and doesn’t really play nicely with social media, so it stands to reason it’s never more than a passing interest for many.

But it does suggest you are NOT wasting your time. Out of the 300 passers by, you may have sparked an active interest in a couple, and for them (brace yourself for a brutally awful play on words) the sky is the limit. (I regret nothing)

Edited by Creedence, 14 September 2021 - 08:20 PM.

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#7 Augustus

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 08:27 PM

Saturn and Jupiter are always the winner for outreach. People really want to see Saturn. cool.gif

 

Interesting about a nightclub for outreach.

It really is remarkable how many people harbor some innate fascination with astronomy, yet how rarely that evolves into an active interest. I can’t think of a single topic or hobby that people are almost instinctively drawn to that translates to so few active followers.

Not lamenting- this takes time, patience, sacrifice with weird hours, etc. This doesn’t fit in easily with modern life, and doesn’t really play nicely with social media, so it stands to reason it’s never more than a passing interest for many.

But it does suggest you are NOT wasting your time. Out of the 300 passers by, you may have sparked an active interest in a couple, and for them (brace yourself for a brutally awful play on words) the sky is the limit. (I regret nothing)

In 1 month I've gotten 2 more people to start grinding their own mirrors and another ten to join local astronomy clubs and buy scopes just from doing sidewalk astronomy like this a dozen times. Hardly a waste of time. Almost every night gets at least 1 person interested enough to do more.

 

Going to set up in the same area with a few friends spread out across the street next weekend. 


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#8 bunyon

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 09:11 AM

Giving someone a look at Saturn is never a waste of time. They may never look through a telescope again but every human should have a chance to see Saturn with their own eyes. It's a shame the conjunction happened during the pandemic. Having Jupiter and Saturn so close is a great opportunity for outreach.

 

Well done.


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#9 Ptarmigan

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 06:26 PM

Giving someone a look at Saturn is never a waste of time. They may never look through a telescope again but every human should have a chance to see Saturn with their own eyes. It's a shame the conjunction happened during the pandemic. Having Jupiter and Saturn so close is a great opportunity for outreach.

 

Well done.

I agree that everyone should see Saturn through the telescope.


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#10 Zwick

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 02:02 PM

Wonderful! I do a lot of outreach but never thought about doing one outside a nightclub. I'm guessing the crowd was much younger, correct?

 

Ed

Actually, your nights on the square are not far from some fairly similar venues, and much of that young crowd is there, along with a mix of others as well.


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