You’ve heard the grade-school imponderable question before: “If a tree falls in the woods, but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Members of Shoals Astronomy Club may take a liberty to rewrite this thought experiment, by asking, “If an astronomy club gets ready for Astronomy Day, and no one attends, did it really happen?”
Mild kidding, of course! Dramatics aside, several S. A. C. members were on-site, and some guests brought their backyard telescope. This presented a great opportunity to work with their instrument up close; first by balancing the telescope on the mount, then by putting the scope through some observing paces. In addition, another LaGrange College Site park guest brought her young companions to see our displays, and each of the children looked at a crescent moon through a telescope.
While we clearly missed the mark with our press releases (as none recalled seeing the event posted in a newspaper), we made up for it in astronomy fellowship. Mike Worthy filled a three-ring binder with photographs of last year’s restoration work on the observatory, and Mel Blake returned the recently repainted MSAS telescope. It was a highlight of the afternoon to return the telescope to its perch.
Despite the lack of press, I am pleased with the vision Astronomy Day inspired in us all. We should work to improve our media ties, of course, but that’s not all. What do you think we could do to get the word out there? How else can we share our celestial connection with other “sky-curious” people?