are planning an event, make sure you have a back up date in case of rain or cloudy skies. Be sure to note a time when the
decision to go forward or postpone will be made.
Also make sure you have a way for the public to find out postponementsand cancellations ( messages on hotlines, website or radio stations etc.).
Sidewalk / City Events
Make sure there is something in the sky to look at - e.g the Moon or bright planet. “Astronomers
may be allergic to the Moon, but the public aren’t” John Dobson. Sometime around
first quarter moon is usually the best time because it won’t be too bright and you’ll have a nice terminator to
show the pubic.
Of course, when people look at the Moon the next question is usually “Can we see any planets?” so even if the Moon isn’t visible from
your location, you can do very nicely with Saturn or Jupiter. We
recommend you have one of these three as a primary object because even though Mars and Venus are often visible, they usually
aren’t strong enough crowd pleasers to hold the main spot. They are great secondary objects, as are the OrionNebula and Mizar and Alcor, but even a full Moon will please the public
Solar viewing can be very impressive. Sunspots are always a talking point. If you happen to have a Hydrogen Alpha Filter,
solar flares and prominences always make spectacular viewing. Please make sure that all safety precautions are taken and strictly adhered
to. Point out the dangers of viewing the Sun with the unaided and inexperienced eye. Venus and the Moon make great daytime
viewing objects and for experienced observers living in the Southern Hemisphere, alpha Centauri is always an interesting object
for the public to view in the daytime.
Dark Sky Events
Dates immediately after New Moon are the best for dark sky events, since you can
show the crescent Moon right after sunset and then move on to dark-sky objects soon after it sets.