Organization Practices 'Sidewalk Astronomy'

By
Eleni Lazares

Dateline
Updated Wed, May 16, 2012 10:52 am

An organization in Athens is bringing astronomy to the people.

The Southeast Ohio Astronomical Society is more than 10 years old and members are local amateur and professional astronomers who gather to share knowledge and look at the night sky.
 
Maryann Hartwick, group president, says the organizations goal is to make looking through telescopes more convenient for people.
 
"We like to bring telescopes out where people are. Sometimes, groups have telescopes and people have to go to where they are.  We like to do the opposite approach.  We call it 'sidewalk astronomy.'  We bring the telescope to College Green, to farmers markets, to elementary schools, to where folks are," said Hartwick.
 
Hartwick is one of the founding members of the society and also serves as the webmaster. She says the society also organizes "Telescope Nights" for the community.
 
"We usually have six telescopes looking at six different things in the night sky.  The telescopes are all different types of telescopes, so people can spend 15 minutes looking through different telescopes at different things and get a really good sense of what's up there that maybe they wouldn't think about before," said Hartwick.
 
For example, in early June, Hartwick says the Transit of Venus will take place.
 
Hartwick says this is where Venus will pass between the earth and the sun: something that will not occur for another 100 years.  
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