Star trails over the former Very Small Optical Observatory in Vail, Arizona. (Photo by Author).
This is a shout out to the world; 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy. Check with your local astronomy club, observatory or planetarium to find out what events are near you; if they aren’t planning anything, ask them why not!
Here at Astroguyz, we will continue to bring you the astronomical highlights of the week, as well as in-depth blogging on all things astronomical and breaking news. Expect top notch reviews of new science and Scifi as well. Also, look for us in person at stellar gatherings around the Tampa-St. Pete area; we have relocated Astroguyz headquarters this year to Hudson, Florida and intend to be active with the St Petersburg Astronomy Club; I’m the guy with the 10″ Meade Schmitt Newtonian. Who knows, if enough interest is gathered, we may host a live, Astroguyz viewing event; more to come!
Sidewalk Astronomy; Its not just a night time activity! (Credit: the Iranian Astronomical Society).
But let’s not forget why we do all of this in the first place over the next fun-filled year. Astronomy gives us an interconnectedness with something much greater than ourselves. I fully believe that there is a spiritual component to being human, and by that I don’t necessarily mean worship in a traditional sense. Don’t worry; we’re not going to bow down to mighty Zarqon the Space God here at Astroguyz or anything like that. I mean that to be truly rounded, one must engage in activities that are both inward and outward looking. An interest such as long distance running (my own example) is very introspective; you are pushing your body against nature to endure. In contrast, astronomy is a very outward looking pursuit; I find it comforting that my trials and dilemmas (and indeed, those of the entire human race) pale when viewed on a cosmic scale. I make an effort to poke my head out on every semi-clear night, knowing that I only have so many such nights in this universe left to go. Don’t squander them! Sometimes I set up to image faint fuzzies in all my techno-geek glory, and sometimes I simply gauge the skies with my naked eyes for a few minutes. It’s important to always remember, as David Levy says, to simply step back from the eyepiece on occasion and look up! If nothing else, that’s what I would extol everyone to do during the International Year of Astronomy, 2009.
Anyway, enough of the poetic prose. Here are some nifty links;
- A directory of Astronomy Clubs. More clubs than you could shake a Newtonian at.
- The Sidewalk Astronomers’ Network. At last, our own crusaders of astro-justice!
- And of course, for more info here’s the IYA 2009 link.
So here’s wishing you dark, clear skies in 2009, and I hope to see you (or hear you, if it’s to dark to see you) out under the stars!
Next week; tired of zombie/post-apocalypse movies? It’s the best (and the worst) of Scifi in 2008!
… and yet more star trails… Empire Ranch, Arizona. (Photo by Author).