Public Astronomy Events
Throughout the summer of 2016, I had the privilege of being a public presenter at the L&A County Dark Sky Viewing Area. This was the first year where regular monthly events were held and the summer was a smashing success. People came from near and far to attend my presenatations, with anywhere from 50 to over 100 people in attendance at a time, depending on the night. With the modest size of the observing pad, this was a LOT of people!
Every month on the weekend closest to the new moon, I hosted these public viewing events. These presentations lasted 90 to 120 minutes and started with a laser-guided tour of the constellations and other naked eye objects, followed up with telescopic views of planets, nebulae, clusters, and galaxies.
For the first event of 2016 – Witness the Spring Sky – I had the honour of being the co-host to reknown author and astronomer Terence Dickinson who led the presentation. Terence, whose books launched me into my pursuit of astronomy and astrophotography, entrusted me to lead the rest of the events for 2016.
A secondary part to these summer presentations was astrophotography. The main tour and viewing sessions lasted from 90 to 120 minutes. Once complete, I started teaching aspiring night sky photographers the art of photographing the night sky. Most of this was wide-field Milky Way photography, but I lent my experience to several novice deep sky photographers who came to attempt shooting deep sky for the first time.