Amateur Astronomy Outreach

I grew up in an era of fantastic change and wonder. As a child of the ‘60s I remember Werner Von Braun (the quintessential rocket scientist) and Walt Disney on my black and white TV screen telling me that I might grow up to have a career in space. Captain Kirk was making the galaxy safe for democracy (even though he came on the air after my bedtime) and my grandmother was a civilian working for the Air Force ordering liquid oxygen tanks destined for Cape Kennedy and NASA.

Sure enough, before I was 10 years old, guys my dad’s age were walking around on the moon! There was nothing we couldn’t do. We were figuring out how the universe worked, how big it is and how tiny we are. Not just figuring it out, but going there. That sense of wonder never left me.

My parents helped me buy my first telescope when I was in middle school. I bought my first “real” scope not long after I got my first “real” job. There is nothing better after a rotten day than to sit outside for a few hours under a clear, silent sky and look. Just look. It puts absolutely everything into perspective, and I love sharing it.

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