I’ve had a casual interest in astronomy since a family friend set his telescope one cold fall evening in Iowa. We were 30 miles from the nearest city and the nights were astonishingly dark. I don’t recall the size of telescope, but it was small enough to setup on a heavy duty tripod. We spent a few hours looking at the moon, Mars, Saturn’s rings, and its moons. For a few years I even toyed with the idea of becoming an astronomer, but that was before computers, and long before robots.
Fortunately my decision to pursue a tech career didn’t have an impact on the progress of science and we’ve still come up with technologies like the Hubble telescope and it’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to keep the astronomers busy.
In keeping with the GeekDad theme of raising the next generation of geeks, 100 Hours of Astronomy holds an annual event to promote astronomy as a science. They will be steaming live via uStream so gather up the kids this afternoon and give them a peak at the universe. They have a schedule posted on the Program page. I’m setting aside some time tomorrow afternoon to tune in, hope to see you there.
Also as part of 100 Hours of Astronomy I will be taking a detailed look at the Slooh Space Camera. They have updated their site with a guide, many missions, and the ability to watch live as their telescopes record images. I poked around for a little bit last night and will give it a thorough shake down soon.