The Sidewalk Astronomer
Newsletter of the Sidewalk Astronomers    Oct 2009
In This Issue
Death Valley Star Party
Update on JD
30 Days Non-Stop Astronomy
Sri Lankan Book Drive
News from Venezuela
Activities in Kiev
Youth Action in Turkey
Muskegon Sidewalk Astronomy
Regional and National Organizers, Local Contacts and Multiple Newsletters 
After the 100 Hours event, we have many  new Regional and National Organizers as well as Local Contacts (YEA!!). I have imported all of the email address for these Organizers and Contacts, so some of you may get multiple emails. Please check the emails the newsletters are coming to and also check your contact information on the website and 1) opt out for the newsletter on multiple emails; 2) update your profile for the email that you want to receive the newsletters; 3) make sure that the eamil posted ont he website is correct; and 4) please notify us with changes you have made.  Thanks!
Donations and Support 
As most of you know, we stopped asking for dues a couple of year ago. That doesn't mean that we still don't need your support.
While an electronic newsletter is much less expensive than a printed version, it does cost us to maintain the list and send the emails and it also cost to host the website.
But those costs are small compared to the shipping costs of sending telescope plans around the world. Many people that request the plans are the very ones that can't afford to pay for shipping.
Donations don't have to be large, you can contribute small amounts and collectively we can make a difference.
Help the Sidewalk Astronomers! Make a donation today.
Sidewalk Astronomers Website and Newsletter
Do you like the content of the newsletter and website? Please visit the website and then send us your feedback, we try to include information that is interesting to all of our members and we need to hear from you. Hopefully reports from others will inspire and provide ideas about activities and events that will be helpful to you.

Vatican Astronomer to Speak in Hartford by Francis J. O'Reilly
Br. Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory, one of the twelve Vatican Astronomers, will be speaking at the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford on May 19, 2010. The lecture will be held at Copernicus Hall at Central Connecticut State University at 7:30 p.m. The topic will be colors in the Kuiper Belt.
All are invited.



Death Valley Star Party

Join John Dobson and the Sidewalk Astronomers in Death Valley. Lodging, Directions, and Information

Join Our Mailing List

Latest update on JD  

John recently celebrated his 94th birthday with friends in Los Angeles.
In November, he will spend a few days at home in San Francisco and do some sidewalk observing. For information on his activities in SF, contact Kenneth Frank
Read more about his birthday celebration
WOW! This is the first time we have had so many updates from around the world to put in our newsletter. In the past, we have asked for short reports so that the newsletter isn't too long, but with this many we decided to only include the beginning of the articles and post a link to the website with the entire article. So go ahead and send us long ones!!!  If you sent a report and it isn't included, please let us know and we'll be sure to get it in next month.     
Just a reminder to get your Galilean Nights events registered at  WE KNOW MORE OF YOU WILL DO EVENTS - PLEASE POST THEM.
30 Days Non-Stop Sidewalk Astronomy Nights  Naveen Nanjundappa 
Bangalore Astronomical Society, a non profit organization based in Bangalore, India, is actively involved in spreading astronomy activities in the surrounding communities. We saw huge success during the 100 Hours of Astronomy program. While we were organizing Galilean Nights activities, we were worried because October is the month of monsoon rains here so we planned one step ahead for a first of its kind program,  "30 Days Non-Stop Sidewalk Astronomy Nights".        
   bas  bang1
Read Complete Article
GOB Star Party Report
by Lacy Thomas

The third annual Penn's Store ( star party was held Saturday night (Sept. 12, 2009) in the large field in front of the store.  The stargazing was the closing activity of the 17th annual Great Outhouse Blowout (details on the website.)
Lacy and Brenda Thomas (Elizabethtown, KY) were joined by Patrick Peak (Louisville, KY) to share the lovely autumn evening sky with the participants.   
Sri Lankan Book Drive  Thilina Heenatigala  

I would like to bring your attention to a project I co-founded with Prof. John Clarke of Boston University, MA. It's called "Astro Book Drive" - mainly focuses on improving Astronomy Education in Developing Countries.  There are many small astronomy societies in these countries run by amateur astronomers. They conduct plenty of programs throughout the year and the participation is immense, from kids in early age to adults. But lack of resources always comes against having a good education or conducting a program.  There are plenty of excess reading materials lying in our offices or the libraries with no one to get use of them. These reading materials worth a lot for the students and educators in developing countries.   
Astro Book Drive How does it work? 
Centro de Astronomia Johannes Kepler in Venezuela
Luis E. Gomez

Many activities are being held by the Centro de Astronomia Johannes Kepler for the International Year of Astronomy. One of these events was designed specially for the students of the Colegio San Agustin and the other was held at the Colegio Simon Bolivar and was open to the public. .venezuela

Activities in Ukraine - Alexander Prokophiev 
This has been a very active time in Ukraine with the amateur astronomers. 

On Sept. 25, American Jim Wiggins gave a presentation for the aerospace school children about his experiences observing solar eclipses. He showed his photos and videos from his recent visit to China for the totality on July 22, 2009, where he had an opportunity to observe the eclipse without clouds. The children asked him many questions about previous totalities, his work for NASA and in Africa, and how he became interested in astronomy. The meeting took place in the National Center of Aerospace Education for the youth of Ukraine, the center is named after A.M.Makarov. There is a museum of space probes and other equipment in the Center, so we also had an oppotunity to tour the facility. Also attending this meeting were the members of the Committee of the Galilean Nights 2009 Project and the several members of  the amatuer astronomy club, "AstroDnepr".  
Youth Action Project in Turkey 
Arif Solmas
  "Space Studio - II " is an educational amateur astronomy project entitled EU Youth Program COMU at the Astrophysics Research Center and Ulupınar Observatory took place between September 26 to  October 1 2009 . This year, more countries where the project participants came from and the various European countries who are interested in astronomy from the youth organizations and youth workers to young people was given to the amateur astronomy education. ÇOMÜ Physics and Astronomy Community, ÇOMÜ EU Youth program office under the coordination of projects carried out within the scope of university students to recognize the different cultures, foreign language skills development, cultural projects cycle and gain experience in management reviews have been targeted.
Astronomers Bring Their Affinity for Stars to Public 
Marla Miller  - Muskegon Chronicle 
In the land down under, the Andromeda Galaxy is nearly impossible to scope out in the night sky. So, after vacationing in West Michigan, amateur astronomer and Australia native Terry Hancock decided to move to the region so he could view the spiral galaxy.
Hancock recently spent several months converting a shed into a backyard observatory -- complete with tan siding, a Plexiglas window and a window planter filled with live plants -- so he can look into outer space whenever he wants. Some nights that means waking at midnight or in the wee hours of the morning to view the moon and various planets and stars. He also programs his telescope to take pictures. "I wanted to view the Northern Hemisphere at night," Hancock said of his move.  

"Andromeda is the closest galaxy to ours and it's still 2.5 million light-years away. "When you're looking into the night sky, you're looking into the past. It's just so vast."  

Hancock and fellow star-gazer John Armstrong are bringing their love of the stars to the public through Sidewalk Astronomy.  
I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter, please submit updates on your local activities to be included in future editions. Send an email to with "newsletter submission" in the subject line (this is important, we get massive amounts of email and articles won't make it to the newsletter without that note). As you can see, photos will be small so make sure that any you send represent well in this size.   
Please forward this email to other amateur astronomers that you feel would enjoy reading it and becoming part of the Sidewalk Astronomers community!
 Carpe Noctem... and share it!

Sidewalk Astronomers