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making friends and hopefully influencing people


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I have just come back from a week in cornwall, the skies remained stubbornly cloudy until Thursday. Whilst lining up the rdf on my scope ready for the nights session lots of people came over to look at the scope and ask what I was going to look at. I suggested saturn and many asked if they could bring kids and have a look. 10.30pm and the stars start to come out saturn was lined up on my scope and loads of kids crowd round to give me palpitations and keep me busy with my lens cleaner however the kids loved it, half an hour later and the kids are tucked off to bed and the dads come back to look at saturn talk about the stars and look at a few m numbers and double stars after a couple of hours of beer and chat I was left alone. Friday night I came back with my scope after finding that not withstanding the lights in the camping field it was the best spot for looking at the sky strolling back at 12.30 at night I found lots of people looking at the sky pointing out shooting stars, the milky way etc and I was asked to point out constellations stars and anything else I knew. a nice end to my holiday and who knows there may be a few new members here. It strikes me that astronomy isn't hard to sell all it requires is a clear night and somebody with a little knowledge, the universe does the rest.

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I do much the same quite often for groups of friends and neighbours who very often bring their own friends along and I must say it is very rewarding to see their reaction to what is for the majority their first "live" view of the universe. It seems to be an almost universally (ha ha) interesting subject to most people. Hopefully I have fanned more than one or two sparks of interest into something more.

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