Blog

Neil deGrasse Tyson never ceases to inspire

My all time favorite science communicator and astrophysicist is Neil deGrasse Tyson. I have a secret crush on him (don’t tell my husband, oh wait… he already knows and surprises me with his videos all the time).

I have shown this video to students in the past and stopped recently. Every time I watch it, I remember why I’m doing what I do. So here it is. Please enjoy and pass it on. Inspire someone to feel ‘Big’ today…

The Most Astounding Fact from Max Schlickenmeyer on Vimeo.

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Astronomy Outreach in Guatemala

Children of La Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta in Finca Le Merced

Children of La Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta in Finca Le Merced

My father is from Guatemala and my mother is from Texas. I have fond memories of traveling every summer to Guatemala to visit my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.  I hadn’t been back to visit in almost 6 years until this past Thanksgiving. We traveled with our whole immediate family and brought our 3 daughters. It was great to see family again, especially for our 9 and 7 year old to connect with relatives and a culture that is part of their heritage.

It has been a dream of mine for a long time to travel to other countries and share my knowledge of astronomy and my programs with other people.  The week of February 15th this dream will become a reality. I will be traveling to Guatemala to teach some night time astronomy to children at the school on the coffee plantation Finca La Merced in San Martin Jilotepeque, Guatemala. I am purchasing a telescope to gift the school. Join us in inspiring children and adults that work in the coffee plantation and surrounding community by donating toward the purchase of 2 Orion 4.5″ Astrodazzle Dobsonian  telescopes and supporting items such as astronomy books in Spanish and a laser collimator. I will continue supporting the school in their use of the scope via Skype after I return to the US.

All donations will go strictly to the purchase of the telescope.

I am proud to announce that Astronomers Without Borders has accepted this project to be supported through their BIG (Big Impact Giving) project through which they organize “microfunding” crowdfunding campaigns on the crowdfunding platform, Fiat Physica. Campaigns are limited to 500 US dollars – See more info about them at: Astronomers Without Borders BIG Project .

 

You can donate through through

https://www.fiatphysica.com/campaigns/telescope-to-guatamala

and

https://www.youcaring.com/la-escuela-oficial-rural-mixta-of-san-martin-jilotepeque-503218

Thank you to all past students, family and friends who have donated to support this project so far. I can’t wait to make a post about it with photos!

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Reimers Observatory

 

Looking through our 25" Dobsonian

Park Supervisor Michael Brewster, the man behind the observatory, looking through the 25″ Dobsonian

Please go to the observatory’s new website to find out about observatory programs:

https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/reimers-ranch/observatory

This Fall I began working at the Travis County Reimers Observatory! It has to be by far the best job I’ve had (aside from being the director of Starry Sky Austin, of course!) It is open to small groups of 30 or less unless we have a special event. We have a 25″ and 15″ Dobsonian out there and the skies are nice and dark!  We not only show everyone what is up in the sky that night,  but also educate visitors about how to use a star chart to find constellations, tell star stories, and share our knowledge of astronomy. It is open most weekends on Friday or Saturday nights except once a month when close to the full moon. (The full moon is beautiful and also very bright and washes out the night sky. The observatory is open when the best viewing is most likely).  As of the end of January 2017, we now have a website and a reservation system. You can go here to reserve your spot: Reimers Observatory

See you under the stars!

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Fall 2015 Semester Astronomy Class

IMG_0038This past fall, I taught a 10 week long semester astronomy class for the first time. We met at Longview Park in South Austin and covered all sorts of new topics such as black holes, astrobiology and the search for exoplanets, life without a supernova, stellar evolution, cosmic timescales and stellar distances and so much more! I got positive feedback from parents and students and really enjoyed getting to know students over a longer period of time. I look forward to offering these new topics in coming classes which I hope to announce soon, so check back for updates soon to come!

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