the 11 telescopes were an even bigger draw than the ice cream
(Credit: Dave Headley)
At some point, every astronomer was a "newbie." (Astronomer lingo for a person just starting to learn about the night sky.) If you want to take your fascination with space to the next level, amateur astronomers are a great group to get to know. Astronomy clubs are full of people with curious minds and many are happy to share their excitement with a new enthusiast. Read below about some of the ways Night Sky Network clubs are passing on the spark.
Eileen Grzybowski of the Norman North Astronomy Club took advantage of a bright night to introduce some students to the wonders of the night sky. "What a beautiful moonlit night! It was the kind of night where we used the moonlight to read and interpret our planispheres. It was a magical experience. Although many people skip observing during a full moon, I have found it a great time to get "newbies" finding objects in the night sky, practicing the use of the planispheres, and identifying the bright stars."
At the Carolina Skies Astronomy Club, Fred Davenport tells us about a special night they had. "The purpose of this program was to help the audience to choose a telescope. The Night Sky Network materials are very helpful in explaining how a telescope works and how to select one."
While many members of the Astronomical Society of the Toms River Area (ASTRA) took their telescopes out of town for a dark weekend, Rosemarie Spedaliere and 4 other members held a Those-Left-Behind-Star-Party: "Well some of the new members felt left behind because a lot of our members went to various sleep over star parties. So I decided we should do our own thing to help them acclimate to the Milky Way and our sky. We taught them about aligning and about the sky and what they can see. It was a success and we helped them with their telescopes."
Whatever your knowledge of the sky, as long as you have an interest in learning, you can find a great community in your local astronomy club. Get connected with a club near you now.