All, All Australia (PressExposure) April 08, 2008 -- April 12, 2008 will be the 2nd International Sidewalk Astronomy Night and all amateur astronomers are invited to join in !
1000's of astronomers in dozens of countries around the world will have telescopes out on the street corners, in front of movie theaters, in state and national parks, in city center parks ... anywhere there are crowds of people!
Sidewalk Astronomers are an International organization based in Hollywood California USA.
They have members all around the world who participate in sidewalk astronomy activities.
Their stated goals are:
"To take scopes to the public on the same night worldwide, reaching hundreds of thousands of people and uniting amateur astronomers on different continents. We also hope many amateurs will try and like this different approach to astronomy outreach and will continue to hold sidewalk observing sessions throughout the year"
The observing session does not have to be a large one and your knowledge does not have to be extensive, as stated by the organizers:
"Events don't have to be large, one or two scopes at a location will be enough and if your club has more scopes and members, why not set up multiple observing sites around your city? "
I Have had a bit of a look at what is up in the night sky this week on Saturday. There are some real treats for those who have never looked through a telescope before and even for those who have, these objects should in turn be easy for those Amateur Astronomers with even a little experience and a moderate sized telescope.
Some of the treats the night sky has on offer include:
* Mars and a 7 day old moon sitting side by side only 2Â° apart in the sky (that's about 2 finger widths), both setting roughly around 10:50 pm local time.
* The constellation of Orion the hunter with the big bright and flashy Orion Nebula, starts setting in the West around 10pm
* Saturn in the northern sky sits at a convenient altitude, transiting the meridian (The highest point in the sky for the evening) at aprox 8:45 pm.
For those who would like to join the sidewalk astronomers with your telescope for "International Sidewalk Astronomy Night" you can reach them at the following link.
If you would simply like to have a look, contact your local astronomy group and ask if they are participating in the "International Sidewalk Astronomy Night", or just look out for people out with telescopes on the streets of your City, town or destination.
I hope that you get to participate in one of these events yourself, I know that I will certainly have a scope out there myself, sharing the delights of the night sky with those curious enough to have a look at the Stars, Planets and Nebulas on offer.