100 Hours - post mortem
So, the 100 Hours of Astronomy seems to have been a big sucess all round. The "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" webcast seems to have gone pretty well, although I didn't see any of it as I was too busy out and about playing with scopes on the ground. Around Perth there were at least fifteen seperate events held around the city over eleven days. I say at least, because there were probably events that I never heard about!
Scitech were responsible for eight of these events. First, they ran three nights at Lamonts in the Swan Valley with an aboriginal astronomy theme - an evening of dinner with stories from a Noongar elder. Sadly, I missed all three nights due to the Murchison trip and then the evening with Waylen Bay Venturers at Curtin the day we got back, but it sounds like it was pretty good. Then came the Observing on the Oval evening at Halls Head primary school on the Tuesday, Space Pirates at Little Creatures on the Thursday, City Beach on the Friday, the Primary Science Conference on Saturday, and Busselton on Sunday. In total these events involved people and telescopes from Scitech, Curtin, AGWA, Gingin, BTOW, Perth Observatory and CSIRO, and reached approximately 1,700 people.
Perth Observatory ran public observing events up in Kings Park on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They started at 12pm each day with solar observing, and ran through until 10pm with a 12-inch Meade, showing people the Moon and Saturn. There were both Observatory staff and volunteers there, keeping a tally of how many people they spoke to in total, and how many people had never looked through a telescope before. The afternoon and evening I was there, we must have seen well over one hundred people, not bad for a Sunday.
Gingin Observatory also hosted a couple of events: "Saturn Starkers", a talk and observing session with astronomer Peter Birch on Saturday night, then a BYO telescope class on Sunday for those who already have a scope but don't know how to use it. The Astronomy Society of WA also ran an event on Saturday - an observing evening at Gooseberry Hill primary school.
All in all, a superb effort all round, and not bad at all given the size of the population!
So, what's next? It's the Easter holidays so the schools are out for two weeks, and the Double Helix club at Scitech has a whole load of events planned. I'm doing one of these, a tour of the Universe (in just an hour!) next week. Then there's Triple-S, National Science Week, Open Day, another Triple-S, River Ranges Astronomy Camp, and of course AstroFest. As much as I love Jodrell, I don't think I'd be doing anywhere near this amount of stuff if I'd stayed...