Monday, July 16, 2007

Romantic Astronomy Part 2

Back in May I posted a little ditty about Romance in Astronomy. It engendered a couple of comments from the blogger community, which is nice. Glad to see that I'm not writing this for myself.

But I had also posted this on my myspace page (my myspace? oh oh. :) ) and my friend Sasha commented on it there. I'll skip most of her comment, but I wanted to share this part...
Now, I also have to be a bit cheesy here and say that Romantic astronomy is not dead. (wait for it, the cheesy part is coming...) Now things may be automated and some of the fun may be lost by the technology, but I'll tell you what...I am head over heels in love with our night sky. (Yes, that's the cheesy part.) I may be just starting out, but my gaze has always been at the sky...and it is a rush to see something new, or learn something new every time I look through a telescope. (Thanks to you no less!:) Teaching newbies, and getting people excited about astronomy is something that you do very well. To me, teaching something that you are passionate about only fuels the fire for other people to become passionate as well. You my friend are keeping the romance alive.
It's nice to know that when you make the attempt to widen the horizons of others, sometimes it works. I spend countless hours preaching the word of astronomy and science to both friends and strangers, and often wonder if my words have any effect. Mind you, I'm not looking for glory or the like; I just want people to be able to appreciate the universe they live in. And when I can impart a little expertise to someone, and they take it up and go further, that's what it's all about.

This past weekend we had a public night at our club's observatory. Of the hundred or so people there, a few visitors were really into learning about the night sky. So much, in fact, that they were there after our "closing time." I was still moving the telescope around to various objects, showing them off, when one of the people said "oh, it's okay, we don't want to keep you." I replied "you're not. That's what I'm here for", and it's true.

If someone is really interested in astronomy (or away from the observatory, anything else I'm talking about) I will make the time to talk to them more: to give them more information, insight, and experiences. Because what good is having knowledge when you can't share it?

And that's the big thing; sharing what you know.

1 comment:

FlyingSinger said...

Nice post about outreach and the personal and sharing side of astronomy and space which I've really been enjoying recently, through my JPL Solar System Ambassador activities and my local astronomy club.

Could I reference this post in this week's carnival of space? Unless you'd like to submit something else?