HomeHistoryJohn DobsonSolar Sidewalk AstroEvent CalendarSA Event ProgramsEvents We SupportProjects/PartnershipsRecognitionArticlesTelescope PlansContactsAstronomy NewsNewslettersDark SkyPlanet EarthGalleryLinksResourcesFlyersIYA 2009

Star-Studded Event Opens Kids' Eyes

From the Ventura County Star

Westlake Village Reads has
astronomy theme for program
By Robyn Flans
Special to The Star 

About 25 people showed up Sunday evening at the

Westlake Yillage Library for an astronomy event

that kicked off the Westlake Village Reads program.


The sixth annual program is sponsored by the

city of Westlake Village, the Westlake Village Library

and Friends of the Westlake Village Library.


Under the Stars, the first of seven activities for this 

year's nature theme, was hosted by the nonprofit organization

Sidewalk Astronomers, which sends speakers to schools and libraries

free of cost.


Bob Alborzian, a member of the Sidewalk Astronomers

since 1968, spoke to the group and took apart the 8~inch

Dobsonian telescope he made, showing how easy it is to

construct one.


"I met John Dobson on the UC Berkley campus

in '68. He started this organization in 19578 and now we are in more than

200 countries around the world. Hie taught me how to build a telescope and

how to do a .public program," Alborzian said.  "He was like a father to me. I

learned so much from him. He opened astronomy and

telescope making to the public. Before him it was a

royalty. There was no one with telescopes."


One of Alborzian's goals is to , encourage young

people t-0 pursue. Careers in science.


"The United States is No. 28 in the world in science.

It's a tragedy,'" he said. "I tell the youth, 'Get

a degree in science, there is a job waiting for you.'"


Outside in the courtyard, Alborzian

showed the moon through his telescope to the guests.


"There are three craters," he told them. "The

center crater is the Sea of Tranqujllity where Apollo

II  landed in 1969. Buzz.Aldrin and Neil Armstrong

walked on that piece of property."


Abigail Moulton, 11, of Westlake Village, was

excited when she saw the moon through the telescope.


"It was really bright," Abigail said.


Her 8-year-old sister Emily Moulton said she

saw the craters.


"It was fabulous," Emily

said. "It was very cool.''


Newbury Park resident James Hernandez brought

his 3-year-old son Ayden Hernandez.


"He's interested in the planets and things Hke

that," Hernandez said. "I took him to the Griffith

Park Observatory; too. I'm teaching him about the solar



"I know Mars and Jupiter,' Ayden said. "I saw the

moon tonight.''


George Willis, from Sidewalk Astronomers, focused

his telescope on the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters.

"It's a gathering of stars that ride on the back of

Taurus, the bull," Willis said.


Margie Price, of Westlake Village, said she enjoyed

the evening. "The stars looked a little like the Milky Way,'' Price

said. "This was a wonderful program.''


Brianne Anderson, community Services Coordinator

 for the city of Westlake Village, said the Westlake

Village Reads program is different from that of most



"Most cities choose one book and run with it,'' Anderson

said. "We choose a theme. Instead of a particular

book, we have a book list and a book display

for each program, so right now there are about

30 titles on astronomy in the library. That gives a

chance for people to read multiple titles."


Throughout January and February there will

be classes and activities.


"Westlake Village Reads increases literacy,

gives our residents an opportunity to come to our

library and increases our community spirit. F

or more information:

Westlake Village Reads program

Enter supporting content here