I picked Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach as a sidewalk astronomy outreach place to honor Alan Shepard, Mercury program astronaut and first American in space, as well as the opportunity to see a SpaceX rocket launch.

Transit of Mercury 36 of 36

I prepared several things for my outreach: a Mercury helmet, a Mercury t-shirt, an Explore Scientific telescope (I am an ES brand ambassador) with a solar filter, a Sony A7RII for transit photography, an orange (a stand-in for the Sun), and a sand grain (there were plenty around). I set up distances from the Sun (orange) with chalk marks to illustrate the size and ratios of the Solar System and a chalk sun with the path of Mercury's transit.

Transit of Mercury 26 of 36

The feeling that I experienced to see little Mercury at second contact was indescribable. How can such a celestial event cause happiness? 

Transit of Mercury 5 of 36

I had about 20 people approach me and look through the telescope and experienced a "WOW" moment. The public LOVES this kind of stuff when given a chance to connect. 

Midway through, I saw the launch of a SpaceX  Starlink mission.

SpaceX launch

I hired a professional photographer to record pictures and educational clips, which I will post on YouTube and happy to share with the AWB.

Transit of Mercury 20 of 36

After some periods of clouds, the last 30 minutes of the transit were clear for observations, and after the Fourth Contact and the show was over, it started to rain, magically.


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    About Me

    Producer of the kids TV show Space Racers Student at Swinburne University MS in Astronomy program Member of AAA NY Explore Scientifc Brand Ambassador Astrophysics teacher (8-10th grade) at HEAF in New York


    Location:New York, New York
    United States of America (the)