Well, this crept up on me! Lowell Observatory (yes, where the dissed-planet, Pluto was discovered) is having a grand old star party this weekend. Unfortunately, rain is in the forecast, so we’ll probably just take the boy to game-night at our friends’ home. I live in the kind of place where we can “go anytime” so we never end up going. Happily, I’ve had a promise extracted to take the Dobsonian out just as soon as I can make the time to collimate it.
Astronomy Magazine is giving away a telescope at each of the participating venues, with a grand prize given to someone from any one of those venues. You’re not going to discover the next large Kuiper Belt object with the AstroMaster, but it should excite your kid enough to make you stimulate the economy in a year or so when they grow bored with it. The NexStar grand prize is a very nice Schmidt-Cassegrain scope with a great computer to point you right where you want to look. We might have to go to Lowell despite the clouds, just to enter the drawing.
If you don’t know how to celebrate Astronomy Day, find the closest astronomy club and get outside Saturday night; they would love to have you. If there isn’t a club nearby, all you really have to do is go outside and look up. That’s it. You need no expensive telescope, no schedule, no guide. You just need working eyes, a clear sky, and a sense of wonder.
(Post by new GeekDad writer Moses Milazzo)