Day 27: Have a telescope party!

pia00405-orig

Source: NASA. “NASA Galileo spacecraft took this image of Earth moon on December 7, 1992 on its way to explore the Jupiter system in 1995-97. The distinct bright ray crater at the bottom of the image is the Tycho impact basin.” http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00405

For this action on saving the world, you will need:

  • A telescope
  • A front-yard with at least a partial view of the sky (even a light-polluted sky will work)
  • A clear night
  • Curious neighbors

#1. Bring the telescope outside when it’s getting dark and there are some people milling about. Take your time setting it up, and act excited/mysterious.

#2. If someone asks what on Earth you are doing, say things like “It’s a supermoon! The moon won’t be this bright until 2150!” or “Last time I saw Mars, it was in Scorpius – I wonder where it is tonight!”

#3. Download “Star Map” on your smartphone and make a show of walking around with it pointed to the sky. If someone asks if you are playing Pokemon Go, you’re making the right gestures.

#4. When there are enough people around your telescope, a party will form. People will call friends to come look through your telescope at the super moon. Another person will remember to bring hot chocolate. Pretty soon, words like “crater” and “comet” are being tossed around and people are becoming awe-inspired all around you. Don’t be afraid to show people sky atlases and star disks.

#5. You’ve done your job of saving the world by making people around you a little more curious about space and the sky. Congratulations! Repeat soirĂ©es randomly for optimal success.

*Spoken from true experience of a telescope party (not my own). I hope I will get the chance to hold telescope parties with my own students one day!

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