the @stro pages
astronomy? glossary website help


the @stro pages index index
astrophotos astrophotos
articles articles
@stro objects @stro objects
discussion boards discussion boards
telescope making telescope making
observer's log observer's log
in san diego in san diego
@stro calendar @stro calendar
astrolinks astrolinks
contact us contact us
Printer Friendly Version

Helpful Links
Company Registration Company Registration




(c) 1997-2004 the @stro pages


sharing the skies

by Roger Herzler


In today's fast-paced world it's easy to forget about your fellow human, who, just like you, probably looks up every so often to contemplate the heavens above. For whatever reason though, they have not taken the initiative, time or money to get out there and get their own telescope. Enter you, the intrepid, sometimes geeky, neighbor, out in the front of your house (ok, so it's not the ultimate dark sky site with the street lights, etc. glaring down on you, but it's also the quickest place to get to if you live in dense suburbia). All of the sudden, provided you don't have "Sparky" the killer Rottweiler next to you, a few people begin to filter out of their houses to see what you're up to. And this time, it's not to complain about the trash cans in front of the garage. In fact, it is to see if they can get a peek at that object in the sky that they spotted a couple of days ago when they craned their necks skyward.

Sound like a scene played out in front of your house? Well, unless you live out in Compton or the Bronx, it should be. Why? Because being an amateur astronomer isn't supposed to be a solitary sport. Want proof of that? Just consider how many astronomy websites are on the Internet. It often takes one person to spark an interest in another, an interest that could last a lifetime. You could be that person. What's the harm of starting up a neighborhood observing club? None. I try to get out in front of my house once a week to browse the stars with my little C4.5 from Celestron. Do I have a big scope? No. Will I likely be pushing my scope's visibility to the limits from the light polluted arena that my front yard offers? Definitely not. But, I find that most of the nights I am out there, I'll get someone to come up and ask about the stars. Or I'll get the chance to show them something like Jupiter (since that's out right now), which is always a quick way to get an 'ohh' or 'cool'. Granted, I may not be starting the next Einstein on their track to the JPL, but it nevertheless gave that person the chance to experience the wonder of space, and to open up their imagination to the night sky. So, get out there and share the sky! You'll find the practice very rewarding and educational for both you and your captive audience.

Clear skies,


<back to articles>

***Copyright information, Privacy and Terms of Use statement can be read here.***