Upper left. Jim Williams of the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society shares his solar telescope. (Photo Credit: Chaunce Stehn) Upper right: Night Sky Network materials hard at work. (Credit: Debbie Cotten) Lower right: The Brazos Region Astronomy Service Society works the Starlight Music Astronomy Day. (Photo Credit: Dennis Utley for BRASS)
You may have seen it mentioned in your local newspaper or even somewhere on the web: Astronomy Day. This wide-spread annual event gives amateur astronomers the chance to pull out all of the stops on getting the word out to the public about the fun and excitement of astronomy. This year, clubs all over the United States participated in festivities that succeeded in awakening the interest and enthusiasm of young budding astronomers everywhere.
Don Baker of the San Antonio Astronomical Association in San Antonio, TX reports one such occurrence at their club's recent Astronomy Day event: "One young man wants to be an astronomer. He knew the answers to virtually all the questions we asked, obviously he's done his homework!"
Jim Rittenburg of the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society Inc. tells of even more young enthusiasts at their own Astronomy Day event in Allentown, PA: "There were many very good questions especially by the younger members of the audience. One young girl asked a very perceptive question about the expanding Universe wanting to know what the universe was expanding into if there was nothing beyond our known Universe."
Kevin McCormac of the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society reports that it is never too late to break through to the wonder of youth: "We held our event in front of Giovanni's Pizza when a large group of tough-looking high school kids converged on the place. One young man in particular was tall and wore a bandana on his head. All of a sudden he was asking questions like a child of 10 years with all of the wonder and excitement. He looked through all of the scopes before he went in to eat and when he left he made another round of the telescopes, again making sure to look through every one."
This year the official date for Astronomy Day was May 6th but if you missed your local club's Astronomy Day celebration, never fear, because astronomy clubs often hold public events all year round. Would you like to see what an astronomy club event is like? Click here to find the Night Sky Network member club nearest you and find out!