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The Sidewalk Astronomers are a public service amateur astronomy association. ALL Sidewalk Astronomers events are for the public. We take telescopes TO the public - on street corners, public parks, in front of bookstores -wherever there are crowds of people. We also work with other amateur astronomy organizations and take part in many international projects. Please browse our site and feel free to contact us to learn about events in your area.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Help John Dobson Celebrate his 95th Birthday!
On Sept 18th, the Sidewalk Astronomers will be celebrating John's 95th birthday with a day of public astronomy at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. 

The event will start at 10am when the observatory opens to the public. We'll be polishing a 16.5" mirror and constructing a mount so that we can use that new telescope to observe the Moon as part of the International Observe the Moon Night porgram later that evening. We'll have supplies and blanks on hand so that the public and other amateurs can try grinding and see what it takes to grind a mirror. 

A booth will be set up with "A Sidewalk Astronomer" playing and JD there to comment and expand on the information contained in the film. Of course, we'll have several sun telescopes set up for solar observing.

Around 6:30 pm, there will be formal congratulations and gift presentations made to John on the steps of the observatory. If you plan on attending and have a gift you wish presented to John, please contact Donna at sidewalkastronomers@earthlink.net before the event so that we can make sure you get this opportunity. 

As the sun sets, we'll begin observing with many dobsonian telescopes. As of today, we have at least 9 dobs ranging for 8" to 18" confirmed and that only includes a few of the organizers' scopes. 
International Observe the Moon Night is an international project sponsored by NASA's NLSI, LRO, and LADEE,  the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Astronomers Without Borders, Gemini Observatory. the ASP and NIght Sky Network. With so many big telescopes we'll be albe to give the public amazing and exciting views of the Moon.

Around 5pm, John will be holding a Q&A session in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater. This will be a great opportunity for the public and local amateurs to learn about what inspired John to the life of public service astronomy. 

Because the 18th is also the date for the monthly public star party at Griffith, the Sidewalk Astronomers will be joined by members of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society. They will also have many telescopes set up for the public. Every month at Girffith, the LASA set up a large number of scopes of all kinds, have many knowledgeable amateurs on hand to answer questions, and also have many amateur telescope makers as members and that means this will be a really great event for the public. 

Other local clubs are invited to join us. We know this weekend is particularly busy, so if your outreach members are busy elsewhere, please send us your printed information so that we can make it available to people from your area that are visiting the observatory. 

This event is free.
Food and drinks are available at the observatory's Cafe at the End of the Universe from 10am until 9pm. No cake will be allowed so please don't bring John one (he doesn't eat it anyway).

There is parking at the observatory, but no special parking permits will be given for this event. As with all monthly star parties, if you pring a telescope you will be allowed to drive up and unload and then find parking. If you aren't bringing a scope, you'll need to find parking in the lot or on the drive up to the observatory.  

If you have questions, please contact Donna at 818-599-4134 or sidewalkastronomers@earthlink.net and NOT the observatory.

  
2:58 pm edt          Comments


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