Impressive turnout

Feb 29

Written by:
2/29/2012 7:33 PM  RssIcon

Anyone who has been watching my weekly videos for some time knows that I enjoy injecting a little humor into my videos (and not the tired "Uranus" jokes, either).  I can't always include it, because honestly, putting a 10 second clip of me doing something silly / humours / tongue-in-cheek quite literally takes a minimum of 3 or 4 hours more time.  Finding the right costume, wig, background, shooting it multiple times to get the best take, editing it so that it is crisp and not too long - all that just plain old takes time.

Fortunately, I have another outlet for this "science can have humor and still be serious" streak running through me.  I have been doing live presentations for audiences interested in the night sky for a while now.  I am just as comfortable in front of the camera for the videos as I am for live audiences - in fact, I may be more comfortable in front of live audiences!

So last night was a nice validation of what I have been working so hard on over the last... oh, six or eight months.  Because I have more time to talk in a live presentation and expand on things with more detail, I can provide a LOT of information in a short period of time.  My present outline is something like this:

  • Quick astronomy history lesson of important astronomy figures (some surprising ones, too!)
  • An overview for understanding magnitudes
  • A discussion about how to easily measuring distances in the sky
  • Humorous, self-produced mythology videos that take serious artistic license, but still portray the stories accurately, which I narrate live
  • How to find things in the night sky using star charts
  • How to see more by reducing light pollution

It's about an hour-long.  But people leave understanding not only how to find things in the night sky on their own, but with a basic grasp of the (often confusing) terminology used in astronomy.  

So anyway, back to last night.  I have had decent turnout for prior presentations, but this was a larger venue in a good-sized library.  I am not certain that the final numbers really were on the upper end of this range, but the estimate was between 90 and 115 people!  I would have been ecstatic with 25, and was hoping for 40 to 50.  This was a phenomenally successful turnout - of course, a lot of credit goes TO the library itself, which did a wonderful job of promoting the program.  Even so... they promote lots of other presentations too.  And to have THAT many people show up, being interested in astronomy and the night sky was.... well, truly inspiring.

Now, this is certainly something of which I plan to do more, starting in the Chicago area, and then working outwards from there over time.  Astronomy not only can be fun, it IS fun, and I do my best to make it so with the talents and gifts with which I have been blessed.  And to see so many show up  for an astronomy presentation, which often gets overlooked due to a steep learning curve to get started - well, that says to me that there is a hunger for this type of offering.

I'm happy to provide more.  Ask me about it.

Location: Blogs Parent Separator The Nightlight

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.