Sunday, May 3, 2009

Astronomy Day should be every Day!!!

Another public event has come and gone and the world is a better place as a result. That is always the way I see it. I and several other astronomers had the honor of giving presentations on everything from Archeoastronomy to the search for Exoplanets to good number of folks at the beautiful Cincinnati Astronomical Societies headquarters last night. We had planned to do some observing through the fine scopes the club owns but the sky gods sought fit to deny us by delivering a blanket of clouds that covered the sky completely. Not even a sucker hole was to be had. Fun was the word still as we gave tours of the club's Clark 8 inch refractor as well as the 16 inch and 14 inch newts and LX200 12inch SCT. The event was two fold as we celebrated Astronomy day as well as Cincinnati State day. It was an opportunity to picnic on our grounds get some great presentations and participate in a raffle.

I had the honor
of being first up to sort of warm the crowd up so to speak My presentation was on Exoplanets. It was a PowerPoint presentation. I touched on the methods used to find those hidden wonders as well as possibilities of life and where to look for it. I try to be entertaining as well as deliver enough information to get the audience peaked about looking for more. I received a big applause when it was over so I hope I did my job and there will be a lot of Google searches today on exoplanets. Next up was Bill and he did a hands on presentation about spectroscopy and how important it is to astronomy and just what we as small fry in the astronomy world can do to contribute to the research being done right now. All had opportunity to look through a spectroscope to see the light from different sources split. That got some very cool wows from the crowd. The final presentation was by Tom and I love this presentation. It is about a culture of ancient peoples that had pretty crude tools for today's standards but managed to build incredible earthworks to determine seasons for planting, positions of sun, moon as well as conquering geometric equations.

It completely blows me away to think these people with limited knowledge of space etc. figured out all of this. These cultures were very atuned to the earth and its way of doing buisness. I recomend reading this book to give you a hint into the world of the Hopewell. Click the book for more information. To sum up the night, it was fun, informative and above all entertaining. The staff at the end of the night when all had cleared out, sat around and talked about bad Scifi movies. That was a great time as well. When you get a chance go to your local club as see what is going on. You will be wowed almost every time. Get out and do something!!!

Clear skies and great seeing too

Steve T

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