Astronomy On The Road’s pilot event was last night. It was AWESOME. Ayo and our friends Matt and Bree helped bring the equipment out from the RV, and by the time I had started to set up a crowd had already started milling around and asking questions. It was good to be back.
Aligning the telescope went very smoothly and took little time, and by 8:40pm folks were at the eyepiece wow-ing at Saturn. I have a hand counter waiting for me back in Phoenix, but guesses as to the number of guests ranged from 80 to 100. In a first for me, everyone managed to see the planet. (Some people have trouble looking directly into the eyepiece, or with eye relief.)
I had a couple of really interesting experiences at the event. The first and coolest was my brother and sister-in-law showing up. They live just outside of Albany in upstate New York and happened to be in Sedona on vacation. We had planned on hanging with them today, but didn’t expect them to show up at yesterday’s event.
The other – less cool, but way more interesting – thing was that a local astronomer came to the event. Normally I would have welcomed his coming, but he hung out in the corner and didn’t say hello once. Toward the end of the event I figured it out. He runs a for-profit company that takes people on night-sky tours in Sedona and was there hawking his service. I’m not sure how I felt about it, but his sketchiness and lack of saying hello put me off a bit.
Nevertheless, everyone who came by had a wonderful experience which meant that I did as well. We had cowboys, a group of seven Harley-riding Danes, and tourists from all over the country and world. Thank you to everyone who stopped to take a look! And to the two people who weren’t interested in taking a look: You guys missed out.
Total views: ~90