100 Hours - part two
After Tuesday's sucess, we had an evening off from astronomy. Thursday night was a sort of star party, but it was definitely more along the lines of "guerilla" astronomy than the other events we've done this week. After work I jumped on the 98 and met up with the Scitech crew at Little Creatures Brewery down in Fremantle. It's not just a brewery, they have a big bar where you can sample the beer, have a pizza and watch the brewing process. We had to lug all the boxes through the bar and out the back door to get to our spot and there wasn't a huge amount of space, so we only took two of the 16-inch Dobs and the motorised Celestron.
While we were setting up there were some puzzled looks from various people so we kept explaining about the whole International Year of Astronomy / 400 years since Galileo looked at the sky with a telescope / 100 Hours of Astronomy project. This was exactly the idea - take telescopes out to people who might not normally go to star parties, take the telescopes to them instead. There was more to it than that though, we had a theme: "Space Pirates!" (Because pirates use telescopes, too.) There were big hats, big dress earings, eyepatches, plasic swords, and even a crab on someones shoulder. The kids had a great time - we actually ended up with our own troop of four-foot security pirates who loved running around with the swords!
Space Pirates at Little Creatures, 2nd April 2009 CREDIT: Megan
It wasn't the best place for telescopes though. We had the back of the builing to the north which blocked the Moon for the first part of the evening, and we had to keep moving the other Dob as Saturn disappeared behind it. There were floodlights on the next building south which spilled over to where we were, and we were on the harbour where there were lots of other lights. Still, it didn't matter really as we were only showing off some bright stuff. Most of the evening we had Saturn, the Orion nebula and the Jewel Box, then we switched from the Jewel Box to the Moon as it came around the building.
After we packed up and de-pirated, we went back in for pizza and beer to round off the evening. The pear and blue cheese pizza sounded very strange, but was actually really good. For some reason, the crab joined us for dinner and nearly got eaten (it wasn't the same crab that got squashed by the meteorite, in case you're wondering). All in all, it was a very silly, but very entertaining evening.