It was 8 degrees and windy, but this was a great night out! I first targeted the Moon, standing on the northeast corner of Johnson Avenue and 235th street. Lots of foot traffic and very clear views on the terminator. This was actually my first viewing of the lunar surface through the XT8, which was marvelous. Next time the skies are clear I need to take the scope out for a personal lunar viewing session. The detail is fabulous! At least 40 people viewed the Moon, and my family came out mid-session to see the new scope and find out what all the fuss was about. Despite the weather, they certainly enjoyed themselves.
As the night drew on I switched to the northwest corner of the intersection to target Saturn, which was clearly visible around 60 degrees in the ESE sky. (It was fun trying to help people see it with their naked eye, particularly after viewing it at 240x in the scope. Those who were able to spot it naked eye appreciated the abilities of the scope that much more.)
This was the night that made me realize that I needed to have some literature available for those who are interested. It needed to have basic information about who we are, what we look at, interesting information about what we look at, and answers to some frequently asked questions like "What is a light-year?" and "Can you see the flag on the moon?"
I took care of that (the genesis of this blog...), and for my next sidewalk session will be handing out informational/educational flyers and star charts.