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On Saturday, April 24, the Global Star Party gives you an opportunity to bring your community’s attention into sharp focus on the sky, in concert with your brother and sister astronomers all over the world.  All are invited, all will be excited.  It is amazing that when we turn our gaze upward, all religious, national, geographical, cultural and political barriers fade into the darkness. 

As you prepare for this day and evening of outreach, look for new ways of reaching the people.  Science centers, planetariums, and science museums are a fine start, but don’t overlook venues such as 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.  Get a local scout or school group to assist at your star party—have the youngsters ask questions, provide information, and even help run the scope.

Include daytime as well as evening observing.  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.  Your local observatory may be happy to work with you to have an all-day astronomy event on their grounds.

Work with another club in a different country and set up an internet connection so that those attending your event can connect with others doing the same thing at the same time in a different part of the world.

You may have already publicized your event in the newspapers, but don’t forget radio.  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.  Find ways to attract attention—do your own version of 100HA’s Camel Cart!

Finally, be sure to register you event online with AWB/GAM, and 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.

April 24 is your opportunity to make the world a little bit better.  As Romanian astropoet Valentin Grigore put it, “If you have a starry sky in your soul, give a starry sky all around you.”

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Global Astronomy Month 2014

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