In all of Texas, only residents of El Paso have a sponsor for Astronomy Day activities (participating astronomy groups are the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium, El Paso Astronomy Club, and Junior League of El Paso, meeting at El Paso Desert Botanical Gardens at Keystone Heritage Park). Celebrate Astronomy Day on Saturday, May 10, 2008.
Why is this a big deal?
Chiefly because I know there are students in Lubbock, Odessa, Killeen, Houston, Galveston, Victoria, Beaumont, Tyler, Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, and San Antonio — plus starry spots in between — who should have a chance to see some stars on National Astronomy Day.
We need a sponsor here in Dallas!
“The Meade Instruments 4M Community will donate an ETX-80 telescope for each venue to give away and also provide a 8-inch LX 90 for the grand prize — Astronomy will pick the grand-prize winner from names collected at each venue.”
Where can you view? Check Meade’s site for a list of physical sites participating on May 10. Check Astronomy Magazine for an interactive map of sites.
Astronomy Day is a grass roots movement to share the joy of astronomy with the general population – “Bringing Astronomy to the People.” On Astronomy Day, thousands of people who have never looked through a telescope will have an opportunity to see first hand what has so many amateur and professional astronomers all excited. Astronomy clubs, science museums, observatories, universities, planetariums, laboratories, libraries, and nature centers host special events and activities to acquaint their population with local astronomical resources and facilities. It is an astronomical PR event that helps highlight ways the general public can get involved with astronomy – or at least get some of their questions about astronomy answered. Astronomy Week is the same concept as Astronomy Day except seven times long.
Novices get a chance to look at the stars, and one person at each site wins a telescope; one person in the nation gets a very nice 8-inch telescope. What are your chances? Last year 28 telescopes were given away; there were 3,700 people who registered to win the things.
Just for looking at the stars! What a deal.
Who will sponsor more sites? Where is the Texas Astronomical Society? The Fort Worth Astronomical Society? How about the Olympus Mons Astronomical Society (at UT-Arlington)? The Lockheed-Martin Astronomy Club?