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Highlights of Astronomy Day 2007

Saturday April 21st, 2007

Contributed by J. Randolph Walton
Photos compliments of Phil Zollner

Astronomy Day is an annual world-wide celebration of amateur astronomy. It's normally held on a Saturday between mid-April and mid-May each year. The date is chosen to provide an attractive view of the Moon in the evening sky, although individual organizations may change it to adapt to their particular needs or to special events.

About 600 people show up for the daytime activities, our largest event ever.  The Starlab was packed for every show, thanks to Gloria, Phil, Teresa, Rich Brady and Rich Mackiewicz.  


The comet making, performed by Teresa, was a huge hit, moon crater making, other displays and talks were well attended. 


Dr. Cooper and his son David demonstrated the “Scale of the Galaxy” while Rich Fink demonstrated “What Power is Your Telescope”. 


Meanwhile Vinny Illuzzi was “losing his marbles” demonstrating “The Fabric of Space”.


Rich Gamba gave a mini Telescope Workshop and Rich Machiewicz gave a talk and slide presentation of the solar system.  As usual, Bob Salvatore, wowed the crowds with his 12” Meade telescope he had on display, but also showed the simpler side of astronomy with Wally Hager as they demonstrated the use of binoculars for observing. 


Adam Gamba ran the coloring, games and puzzle table for the kids and had quite a crowd.  Hannah Gamba and her friend Kaitlyn Shive (with a lot of help from Kaitlyn’s mom, Marykate) ran the tattoo table and had tattooed almost 200 kids (some more than once).  Lots of people got help with their telescopes and later some joined us for the night observing using their own scope for the first time.

Karen Pasco manned the Save the Planetarium Fund, Inc. table and raised about $3,500 to be matched by the generous Matching Gift Program. 

John Schubach’s beautiful bench that he made to raise money for the club was a hit, the club made over $225 on the bench, a very big Thank You to John and his family for putting on the raffle.  MaryAnn Fink and Peggi Gamba baked items, enjoyed by many.  Maryann manned our “food concession” and did over $300 in food sales.  Gene Russo helped with the solar observing but had no sun spots to see with the white light filters or solar projection; but with Randy Walton’s H-Alpha telescope there was solar granulation to see on the TV, and looking through the telescope a nice loop prominence at the top of the sun that looked like a handle.

We had about 300 people show up for the night observing. 

Ro Spedaliere and Jack Buckley had set up their scopes early and handled the many people from the public that also showed up early.  John Endreson and Mauro Bacolo did not bring their telescopes so they were able to help visitors set up their own scopes.  There were about 8 people that needed help, and again they were so thrilled to be observing though their own telescope.  The public left the college around 10:30 PM and the last ASTRA members about 11:30 PM.  A very big Thank You to the 25 ASTRA members and friends that were Astronomy Day helpers that all made the day so very successful.  And thank you to Sarah Waters for making it all happen.


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