In Summer 2016 Mike Carlin and myself, we decided to organize public observing on monthly basis.
The first event took place at Peace Plaza, whre joined us as well Jack.
It was fun. So many people stopped by, many of the for the first time sow Moon through telescope.
We had great discussions with locals as well with many foreigners.
Peace Plaza is good place for impromptu observation, but we knew, we should find better place with darker sky in city limits and with open horizon.
We found such place at parking at Watson Soccer fields at 41st street NW. Soccer fields does not have any lights, so it does not contributes to light pollution. And light pollution from the neighborhood is much smaller than in other areas. There is excellent horizon view. It is possible to observe celestial objects very low on horizon, including West horizon, which is beneficial for evening Moon and planet observations.
At October 2017 RAC meeting twelve members joined outreach group with intention to organize public sky observing even through Winter.
We since November 2017 till February 2018 we organized observing at parking of the facility 125 Live. They were very nice and welcoming, and allowed general public to warm up in the lobby. Parking is lit by new, very bright LED lights, so it is really hard to see any other object except Moon. We learned, that dark sky is really precious.
Public Sky observing is organized once a month on Friday, when Moon is about the first quarter. Moon around the first quarter is not too bright yet, and it is possible to observe plethora interesting objects, like craters and mares, even with light pollution. People have more free time on Friday before weekend, and children don’t have to go to school next day.
Here is list of dates of the Public Sky Observing till end of 2018:
|June 22||10 PM||midnight||Moon, Jupiter, Venus|
|July 20||9:30 PM||11:30 PM||Moon, Jupiter, Venus|
|August 17||9 PM||11 PM||Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars|
|September 14||8 PM||10 PM||Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars|
|October 12||7 PM||9 PM||Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars|
|November 165||6 PM||8 PM||Moon, Saturn, Mars|
|December 14||6 PM||7 PM||Moon, Mars|
Friday evening Public Sky Observing in 2019
Symbols: Moon ☽, Mercury ☿, Venus ♀, Mars ♂, Jupiter ♃, Saturn ♄, Uranus ⛢ (or ♅), Neptune ♆; Dwarf planet Ceres ⚳
Day upper index5 means 5 weeks gap instead of regular 4 weeks
Stellarium hint: [ ] 7 solar days (one week) backward or forward