08 February 2010

Get Involved: Cal Academy, Star Parties, meet John Dobson

February is a busy month here in San Francisco for those who are ready to take a step forward and get involved in a local astronomy event or two. Here's the lineup.

On February 11, the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers (SFAA) team up with the California Academy of Sciences for a new series of astronomy talks and star tours on the Living Roof of the Cal Academy. I'll be giving the talk this Thursday during the NightLife event at 7:15 pm. More information and tickets on the NightLife webpage.

On February 17, the SFAA holds its monthly meeting and lecture at the Randall Museum in San Francisco. And on February 20th they have their City Star Party and Telescope Workshop. You can dust off your old telescope and bring it out for a quick lesson on using your telescope (before the sun sets), and then enjoy stargazing at the City Star Party. This is at Lands End in San Francisco.

On February 25th and 26th, the amateur astronomy community of San Francisco bids farewell to a living legend in the field, John Dobson. John is a co-founder of the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers (they call what they do "urban guerilla astronomy") and the creator of the easy-to-build and easy-to-use telescopes that bear his name, Dobsonians. There will be a get together with John on Thursday 25th in the Sunset District of San Francisco, and sidewalk astronomy with John at a location to be determined in the city, to say Farewell as John moves from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I am impressed with Sidewalk Astronomers and especially with John Dobson, who had a singular vision to make telescopes accessible to anyone who wants to build one out of inexpensive parts, and to get these telescopes out on the street so everyone can appreciate the wonders of the sky and see something they hadn't seen before. I respect that.

I hope to see you at one of these events.

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