28 April 2012
Be sure to reserve Saturday, April 28th, for GAM’s ultimate observing event: the Global Star Party. Of course, it’s B.Y.O.T. - Bring Your Own Telescope - but encourage even those who don’t have one to come anyway. All are invited, all will be excited. It is amazing that when we turn our gaze upward all religious, national, cultural and political barriers fade into the darkness. April 28th is the time to come out under the stars, bridge gaps across the seas, and join your brother and sister skywatchers in proving that the world is, in fact, “One People, One Sky.”
Start Early and Follow Up Not just the 28th, of course, but the whole month of April is dedicated to the science, art, and culture of astronomy, so plan to take your hobby to the streets as often as you can. Club members need to “divide and conquer” their community on every corner. Get events scheduled and supported by your community’s science centers, planetariums, and science museums. Spearhead new ways of outreach to convalescent hospitals, rest homes, military bases, busy sections of town, and libraries. Be ready to accommodate handicapped visitors to your scopes, including those in wheel chairs. Be on top of your game with lectures, presentations, exhibits, telescope demonstrations, handouts, and star charts—and be ready to dazzle them with fun facts (not boring ones) about the objects you have captured in your eyepiece.
Begin with the Sun You can build momentum by scheduling events not just in the evening but during the day as well. Spark interest in our number one star, the Sun, by planning an Astronomy Day at the park with picnic. And, of course, invite all your daytime guests to your Global Star Party in the evening. Contact your local observatory—they may be happy to work with you to have a big, all-day astronomy event on their grounds.
Publicize Your Events But the public won’t know about your Global Star Party unless you get the word out. Local weekly newspapers are very receptive to running news items about events like this, and if you can give them a well-written story that has a catchy news angle in it, you may get not just a small announcement but a feature article. Also, if your city or town has a public radio station, they will likely be happy to announce your event—perhaps including an interview with you. Use Your Creativity Other than the set date—Saturday, April 28th local time—there is no formal agenda. Amateur astronomers have proven to be incredibly creative when organizing events, so we encourage you to show us what you can do! We do, however, encourage everyone to expand the time beyond the regular evening events—starting early with solar activities and continuing until late evening. Everyone should choose the activities that fit their community and personal preference. We are encouraging everyone to think in new directions and try new methods of outreach, but want everyone to be comfortable in their choice of events. Be sure to register you event with AWB online and to come back afterwards and fill out your event reports and post your photos. We all want to see what our friends around the world are doing! Some Program Idea
Share your Star Party experience with us:
Share your Global Star Party images with us via GAM2012 Facebook or Flickr group or Tweet using #GAM2012 hashtag (@gam_awb). Don’t forget to register your events here.