Sidewalk Astronomy June 23, 2007
Jerry Miller and I (Bill Seiler) did a sidewalk astronomy party at the Light House in Santa Cruz on June 23, 2007.
We got started at about 7PM when it was still light. We setup on the grass in front of the Santa Cruz Light House. The Moon was visible so we pointed our scopes at it and started there. Jerry had his USB scope camera connected up to his laptop for easy viewing by the public. We have quite a few people show up right away who wanted to know what was happening. We assured them no special astronomical event just doing sidewalk astronomy. Also had to explain what the history of sidewalk astronomy was. As the sun set and it got darker Venus poped out. I move my scope (10" Dobsonian) to Venus and started showing it to the public. Venus was a 1/3 crescent and was very bright. Jerry continued to show the moon to the folks on his computer. At about 9PM Jupiter showed itself in the east. I move my scope to Jupiter. Jupiter had three of it's moons on the left side and one on the right. Jupiter was still low in lots of atmosphere so cloud bands were not visible. At about 9:30PM Saturn showed itself near Venus. So I moved to Saturn. Since Saturn was low in the west it was not real crisp. No Cassini Division. One moon below Saturn, maybe Titan was visible. Both Jupiter and Saturn were big WOW objects for the public. We had a very good public turnout. Lots of people came back after dark to see more. We stayed until after 10PM. The security guard showed and informed us that he was going to lock the gate to the light house parking lot. We quickly packed up and got out of there before 10:30 PM. Santa Cruz Light House is good sidewalk astronomy site. Good viewing to south and east. Breezy late in the evening. Nippy but not real cold. No dew! Negatives, you can only stay till 10PM. Postives, the public was great!