You Don&#39t Have to Be an Astronomy Whiz to Be Inspired
The Astronomical Society of Southern New England gave a stellar star party
for the Sowams School in Rhode Island.
(Credit: Pete Peterson)

Space holds the imaginations of many people and it can be a fascinating subject to learn about. With the long winter nights and a lot of new telescope owners after the holidays, astronomy clubs enjoy introducing "newbies" to the hobby. Hear from people whose lives astronomy has touched and see how the spark of discovery has already been passed on this year.

In New Jersey, the Astronomical Society of the Toms River Area held a telescope workshop, informally deemed the How to help a telescope stay out of the attic star party. Rosemarie Spedaliere recounted a quote from the father of an excited new telescope owner. He said, "My son didn't want to come and now look at him and how excited he is! I think it is wonderful what you do for these kids and how you inspire them and plant seeds in their heads. You have a great organization. Thank you!"

At the Bear Branch Nature Center Planetarium in Maryland, David Gede of the Westminster Astronomical Society Inc. gave a silent planetarium show as an encore for some interested guests. They couldn't have been happier: "It was the best show I have ever seen. Then to be able to sit and watch the stars, without any interruptions, was spectacular. I will be back again, often. Thank you so much."

And our favorite so far this year also comes from David. He reports to us from a star party at the Roland Park Country School: "They were thrilled with our presentations and have asked us to work with them to do this again. I also got one of the best compliments I have gotten while doing public outreach. It came from one of the teachers. '...and who would have thought that a bunch of guys that sit around in the dark and look at stars could actually be entertaining to little kids.' I believe it was intended to be a compliment...and that is how I took it. I thought it was a great comment and a testament to how good the Night Sky Network programs really are!"

Are you ready to be inspired? Click here to contact your local astronomy club.