The intersection of science and art

Oct 18

Written by:
10/18/2012 3:04 PM  RssIcon

Or perhaps more accurately, astronomy, culture and entertainment.  At least, that's what I tried to do with this week's Eyes on the Sky video.  The upcoming holiday theme, coupled with my aptitude for the theatrical and helping beginners to astronomy find and see interesting things in the night sky was all wrapped up into that one video.

But did it "work"?

I don't know.  At the present moment, YouTube seems to be providing its statistics on a rather inconsistent basis.  Normally by this time I'd have 500+ views, but YouTube shows 328 on my "Video Manager" page, yet delving into Analytics, it shows 349 views, and only for the first three days the video was up at that (excluding at least one full day and part of today).  So that makes me question: Is what I'm doing useful?  Is it necessary?  Too "out there"?

Thing is, it seems if you're not entertaining, no one's going to watch.  But go TOO far, and one risks getting either "eye rolls" or the silence that I sometimes interpret as people not saying anything because they were taught to not say anything at all if they don't have something nice to say.

Which puts me in the position of: Do I continue doing what I'm doing, or not?  (Meaning adding all the extra "fun" stuff in there.)  Doe science and entertainment mix?  Or, more precisely, does the promotion of the science of astronomy to the average person coupled with entertaining moments of levity belong in the same video?

I like adding the "fun" and "funny" parts to Eyes on the Sky videos.  It takes a lot of extra time too, so it isn't like I'm doing it for the heck of it.

But I suppose that's part of the process, too.  And what I'm doing is really pretty much unlike anything else out there.  Yes, there are other astronomy videos out there; plenty of them in fact.  But there's really only a handful of us talking about what you can find and see each week, and even then, what I'm doing is different than what they're doing.

I want people in cities and suburbs to see things, not tell them to drive to a dark sky to see something.  I also want them to turn down their own lights.  And light pollution reduction, ultimately, is the goal.  Dry recitation of facts are not heard by busy people, so I use "Dark Sky Facts" interspersed with humorous segments and lots of "How to find this in the night sky" tutorials.

It's tough sometimes, doing this all by oneself, and getting little feedback.  But the goal is real, and do-able, even if the journey is undoubtedly a long one.  Besides, if I educate a few people now, and inspires someone else to go above and beyond, I will have succeeded.

Today it just feels like, "Why am I doing this?"  Though to be fair, it probably doesn't help that its raining.

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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.