Night Sky Network: Over 300,000 served!
Nora De Muth of the South Bay Astronomical Society presents at a recent Astronomy Day event.(Credit: Joe Fierstein)

Sharing astronomy can be as simple as two people and a single telescope set up in the parking lot of a movie theater to a weekend long event with lectures, classes, planetariums and rows of telescopes. What matters is sharing the wonders of the Universe with others.

The Night Sky Network and its participating astronomy organizations continue to show a successful dedication to this goal and have recently observed the milestone of over "300,000 people reached" by the various astronomy outreach events held Night Sky Network member organizations.

These Outreach events include what can be considered the "standard" outreach events like school star parties or Astronomy Day to the more unusual celebration of the night sky like the "Not a wedding party star party" hosted by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh and described here by Christine Denise Chojnicki: "This event was a mix of a wedding reception and star party during a very dark sky. Richard Frye and I assisted in setting up a brand new telescope for the groom. Jupiter and 3 moons were the big attraction of the evening. A reflector and a refractor telescopes were utilized for the evening event."

How is the Night Sky Network achieving these numbers? With the help of astronomy organizations great and small who put in the volunteer hours to get the word out. Here are just a couple of selections from the many recent events that helped put the Night Sky Network over 300,000!

New Night Sky Network member organization, The Quahadi Society, of Quanah, TX held an event at Copper Breaks State Park, report an event at Copper Breaks State Park: "Park Ranger Charles Call presented an interesting program using the Night Sky Network materials which was well-received. Jeri Turner ... told stories relating to constellation Corvus (the Crow)."

Veteran Night Sky Network member organization, Astronomical Society of Northern New England, held several events in the past month alone including one for Mrs. Frost's 1st grade class in Hiram, ME and presenter Joan Chamberlain reported unanticipated success using the "Why do we Put Telescopes in Space?" activity: "I wondered if this presentation would be too difficult for first graders, but they were intrigued by the "telescopes"... They loved looking through the telescope, watching the "star" twinkle."

In one year, the Network, NASA, and its partners at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific have enabled amateurs to reach out to more than 300,000 members of the public. The work of the Night Sky Network is carried out by more than 220 astronomy organizations. To find a Night Sky Network club near you, visit our club locator page.