Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Weekend Full Of Fun And Fond Remeberances

Whew!What a weekend. I had Friday started off with a meeting of the Cincinnati Astronomical Society. I was getting prepared for my meeting with the board ( I am a Vice President) When I got copied on a curious email. The 19th was a scheduled event for the Hamilton county parks district spring night hike. The hike ends with people gathered around a telescope or three to look at the amazing Heavens above. I was blessed with the opportunity to host the winter night hike in Dec .It was a 20 degree night but my scope performed flawlessly. The event being held at the same time as the monthly meeting made for a little problem of staffing the event.I thought we had it staffed going into the afternoon... The email came reading that the point guy may not make it because he was feeling ill. The one thing that I have found in life is you need to be a man of your word and if the Club promised to be there then we would be there . I called the president and canceled my appearance at the meeting and got my gear loaded. I showed up as they were taking the first group out yes first group there were three groups total making about 40-50 people in attendance. I was a little worried about eye/ scope time.I informed the directors Jen and Lynette of the personnel change and she just could not get over the fact that I would drop club business to come and do the event. I simply told her that the event was my business and the club's. The CAS has been doing public events for 100 years. We are dedicated to bringing astronomy and all it's wonders to the public. The other astro-volunteer, Joe showed up a little late but was set up in no time. He had brought two scopes with him. So in the end we had three scopes setup and swinging all over the sky. The biggest crowd pleaser was The Moon followed by the Orion Nebula. Mars was a treat as well for everyone. It was a fantastic night for all that came to the Night Hike. This is just the first of many opportunities between the Hamilton Parks Outdoors program and the CAS for 2010!

Saturday brought to us International Sidewalk Astronomy Day! I am sure you have celebrated it in style like me! The Cincinnati Observatory had several site set up around the city  The skies did not look promising. I kept a weather eye out all day long wondering if it was going to be a washout. 7:00 PM rolled around and the Skies started to clear out as if on cue. I was to turn eye after eye to the sky at my site on the Northwest side of town. People started coming by saying they had seen the advertisements Over a hundred pairs of hungry eyes looked through my scope and got a show even in the bright light polluted sky. I was able to get my scope on Venus  hanging low in the sky and looking quite dreadful . But She was greeted by wow and cool which is just what the beautiful Venus loves to hear. Mars was also out and at nearly the zenith  it was a crowd pleaser as well. But the item that stole the most hearts this night was the Moon. I had so much foot traffic going to Blockbuster. Little did they know this night they would get a movie and a show!I had a woman of about mid twenties coming out of Blockbuster and going to her Car when I asked excuse me  would you like to see the moon?  She stopped in her tracks  and looked at me  then said:"You know I have never looked through a telescope. Why sure!" she walked right over and took a look  at the moon and she said Oh MY God that is soo beautiful. So I invited her to come by the COC one night to look through one their big scopes. She just might  Oh and then  I had a boomerang also this night. By that I mean I had a family come by and look at the planets and Moon  They said thank you  as they were probably my most excited family of the night about an hour later  The Dad shows back up and asked do you remember me? I said sure why? He said he had been contemplating getting a scope but wanted to ask me a couple of questions about mine. I told him that is a fine approach to have. I had time to go over a few thing about my scope and scopes in general. He then left with a better understanding of what a scope could do and how much is a good price for a scope.  So was the international sidewalk astronomy day a success? Well here at Blockbuster it sure was!

Sunday brought a final farewell to a great man in astronomy. Dick Wessling was celebrated on this day and so many folks came out to see his life and remember him as one with so much talent. I heard story after story about Dick from his favorite beer, MGD, to skiing, to playing The base fiddle  and drumming. His mirrors are legendary and there were plenty of pictures touting his telescope making. I was glad I came to get to know this man a bit better even after his passing. Dick will be missed greatly by all.  I was a little late in posting this. I have been very busy with work and astronomy events.  I have two more blogs I am working on and will try and crank them out this week.
until then ...

Clear skies and great seeing too!

Steve T

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