After arriving at the mountain after dark, I stayed up as long as I could to get used to a night time observing schedule. I only made it to 1am, which I suppose isn’t that bad given the day of riding I had. As a result, I ended up waking up relatively early the next day and so had some time to look around Kitt Peak. I was particularly interested in Kitt Peak’s outreach and visitor program. There are large number of volunteers that do everything from presentations, tours, observing, and even over night stays with visitors on the mountain.
The AstroNuts Kids Space Club is a group I’ve been working with for a few years now. Led by the intrepid Ray Bielecki, this group of space enthusiasts hold meetings once a month, and also travel to various places on field trips. This is actually the third time they visited the York Observatory for a tour and observing. This tour was run by myself and Rob Berthiaume. The weather was patchy clouds with big enough sucker holes to observe Jupiter, the Moon, Betelgeuse, and Rigel.
On 17 June 2013, I had the fortunate pleasure to give a presentation at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). I was approached by a friend of mine, Julie, who works at the ROM in the education department. She also organizes and oversees a program called OWLS (Opening Windows for Learning ). This is group of people who volunteer their time every monday on the floor of the ROM. They show the children various artifacts as part of the floor presence. After the OWLS have finished volunteering for the day, they then attend a talk given by various guest speakers. I was invited to be the guest speaker for the, so I put together a talk on the exploits of one Commander Chris Hadfield. Below you can see the title slide for the talk.
The name of the talk, ‘Ground Control to Commander Chris,’ I actually stole from the show title of one of the recent York Universe** podcasts I helped put together (check out the episode here).
I had a great time presenting to the OWLS volunteers. My entire presentation was mostly based on the twitter of Hadfield’s (which you can follow here: @Cmdr_Hadfield). At the time of the presentation, Hadfield had tweeted just over 5000 tweets in total. In preparation for this presentation I downloaded and combed through all 5000 tweets looking for the best pictures I could find. That’s right….all 5000. It took hours. But this was worth it, because now I have a great 30 min presentation on (what I think are) the best tweets from space. These include pictures of Earth from the ISS, images of science experiments, sleeping quarters, and more. Seeing through the eyes of Hadfield has been a wild ride. I think we can all agree.
I like the way I’m pointing in this shot!
** York Universe is a radio show I co-host/co-write. It is streamed live by www.astronomy.fm every monday night 9pm local Toronto time. You should definitely listen. More information at yorkuniverse.com
My latest video at the Ontario Science Centre (@OntScienceCtr) covers the new exhibit ‘Beyond Planet Earth: The future of space exploration.’ It’s a fantastic exhibit!
I spent the evening speaking the Durham Regional Astronomical Association (@drastronomy) at the Whitby Central Library in Whitby, Ontario. It was a tonne of fun! The DRAA members were very welcoming and had great questions.
You can see a copy of my slides here: goo.gl/VtK66
My talk was entitled ‘What your favourite galaxy may be hiding from you…’
thanks to Arnold Brody (Vice President), Michael Cook (President), Michael D’Angelo, and all the members of the DRAA, I had a blast and can’t wait to go back!
PS: the background galaxy here is NGC 4565. One of my favs!