Outreach in Stellenbosch (2009 Aug 28)
Despite the total cloud cover, tonight's public awareness event went well.
We set up on the south-eastern corner of the Braak on a well-lit pavement, with 'Lorenzo' (10-inch Dobsonian) as the focal point.
The telescope was surrounded by a poster display that was so attractive that soon after setting up, a young lady came over to ask how much we were selling them for as she wanted to buy one as a gift for her boyfriend. She was surprised when I explained that she could download them for free. And a few minutes later, a municipal law enforcer arrived and demanded to see our permit - he had received two complaints that people were selling things illegally on the roadside. This despite the fact that there was a large "Star Gazers Club / Sterrekykersklub" notice put up in clear view.
According to Ed's clicker, 77 passer's by were engaged in an astronomy chat, mostly about the Moon, which could be seen from time to time through the cloud. Invitations to a meeting on September 07 were handed out, and contact details were collected. Much chocolate was consumed, kindly supplied by Martin.
With weather predictions looking better for Saturday night, Lynnette and Wilhelm made a "Come See Stars Tomorrow" sign which was then prominently displayed. I learnt that a black board can be quite useful when an impromptu change-of-message is needed.
We packed up at 23:00, holding thumbs for clear skies on Saturday. Even though the weather was against us tonight, the high visibility of our setup achieved our one major goal, that of awareness.
nothing more to see. please move along.