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  1. #1
    Aaron Bransky's Avatar
    Aaron Bransky Guest

    Default Successful Public Viewing of Mars in Duluth, MN

    A few weeks ago a couple of members of the Arrowhead Astronomical
    Society (AAS) here in Duluth, MN decided we should have a public
    viewing of Mars on August 27. A student at the local planetarium
    joined in to help organize. I decided of course to participate, but I
    was skeptical, knowing that Mars would be low, and that expectations
    of the general public might be unrealistic given the Hubble type
    pictures of Mars that people see in the news.

    Boy, was I wrong!

    The news media were interested in the story. In the days before the
    event, I appeared on local TV 2 times, and we had a good story in the
    local paper, front page above the fold. On Tuesday, August 26, I got
    a call just before 10 pm saying that a bunch of people were at the
    observing site wanting to look at Mars. This was of course the wrong
    day, but I went out there anyway and had dozens of people look through
    my 12.5" dob. Some stayed until around midnight. The views were
    quite good.

    The next day, a special Mars show was held at the University of
    Minnesota Duluth's Marshall Alworth Planetarium. Meanwhile, the AAS
    set up set up 9 telescopes nearby. Sizes ranged from 85mm to 17.5
    inches. The announced viewing time was 10 pm last Wednesday, so I
    showed up at 9:30 pm to set up along with other club members. To my
    amazement, there were 2 TV stations already there to broadcast live,
    and at least 50 "early birds" looking through scopes already set up.
    Around 10 pm I (and others) appeared live on local TV, and at times
    there were lines 20-40 deep waiting for a look. Hundreds of people
    showed up, and we were busy for hours...the last of us packed up
    around 1 a.m.

    People were uniformly interested, polite, and grateful. Nobody
    complained about the wait. Many were excited about what they saw (the
    seeing actually was pretty good for these parts, and most could at
    least see the south polar cap). And some I think will come to our
    next AAS meeting.

    It simply was a resounding success, and we'll try it again after our
    club meeting on September 10. Kudos to AAS members who thought of
    this event, the Marshall Alworth Planetarium staff, and to sidewalk
    astronomers everywhere who have done this kind of thing for decades!

    Aaron Bransky
    Arrowhead Astronomical Society (Duluth MN)

  2. #2
    Jackie's Avatar
    Jackie Guest

    Default Successful Public Viewing of Mars in Duluth, MN

    "Aaron Bransky" <> wrote in message om...


    Nice to hear your report-- we down here in the Twin Cities had a ton of
    people wanting to glimpse Mars, too. We had over 450 people at our club's
    observatory last week, as well as at least 1,000 people who showed up for a
    public viewing at Loring Park in Minneapolis. The news crews were there at 4
    am to catch the crowds-- I can't believe there were that many people awake
    at that time of the morning of the 27th!!

    Mars is just a huge hit everywhere!


  3. #3
    Aaron Bransky's Avatar
    Aaron Bransky Guest

    Default Successful Public Viewing of Mars in Duluth, MN

    "Jackie" <> wrote in message news:<o2a5b.257035

    Jackie, how in the world did your club handle 1000 people?! Those are
    some dedicated club members to get up at that time in the morning.

    Aaron Bransky



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