Sunday, January 4, 2009

Plans for IYA2009 Projects

Thinking about how to do my part to help celebrate the International Year of Astronomy, a couple of ways come immediately to mind:
  • Networking with other amateur astronomers. I've been meaning to join the Texas Astronomical Society (TAS) for years... it's about time. I've also enjoyed observing with folks like Dwight and Paul before and look forward to doing so again this year.
  • Through my photography. Yes, it'll be fun but, more importantly, my hope is that everyone who sees my work - whether here, on Flickr, or anywhere else - will appreciate the sky in a new way or learn something new about astronomy.
  • Through star parties. Linda and I have participated in one every year or two for Mesquite schools. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities this year - whether for MISD or other organizations (TAS, etc.). Seeing people's reaction the first time they see Saturn or a crater on the moon is incredibly rewarding!
  • Sharing here. As I run across news articles, other people's photos and anything else about astronomy on the web that strikes me as interesting, I'll reference them in posts or add them to Recommended Links.
In addition to these - and in some cases, in conjunction with them - there are some personal projects I have in mind.
  • Photographing a solar analemma. What is an analemma? Learn about it here. This would be a huge project so not sure whether I've got the time and energy, but I do have some ideas on a way to pull it off.
  • Capturing a suburban view of meteor shower. Although I've never had any success watching a meteor shower from our backyard, I've seen a few nice ones out near the lake. This year, I hope to capture images of one (or more) shower. I'd also like to contribute to information gathering efforts to document meteor showers.
  • Capture image of a young crescent moon. This is a key event in the Islamic calendar but is also of interest to me both for the challenge and as a unique photography subject.
More to come...

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