Do your homework before you go
out. Even if you’ve only recently become interested in astronomy, find out some
facts about the objects you’ll be observing that evening.
Don’t be afraid – if you don’t
know the answer to questions say you don’t know and explain you are just getting intoastronomy and don’t know that much but love to look. It shows how
astronomy is a hobby for any and everyone, no
matter what your level of knowledge
or time commitment is. Everyone can enjoy “stargazing”.
If possible, try to have a
more experienced amateur along with you so that you can redirect some questions to them if needed. Be sure tospeak in the language of the public, using terms
the public will understand. If you don't feel comfortable giving information,
least be sure to ask them what they are seeing ( not only to communicate with them but to be sure that the item hasn't faded out of view).
xxHave the right equipment
Make sure you have your eyepieces, step ladder, flyers, sky charts, red light flashlight, etc.
Make a list beforehand and ALWAYS check it. Depending on the type of telescope
that you are using, take any tools you
might need, e.g. screwdriver or
pliers. Check your batteries.
xxTips and Hints for Sidewalk Astronomy Beginners
Don’t worry if people look at you and keep walking, some just aren’t interested. Don’t be offended.
2. Make sure to have a flyer or something similar with contact info for you or your local astronomy
club for those interested
in making contact in the future.
3. If possible, have one
person to run each scope and a few extra club members to assist and answer questions.
4. Do not set up your equipment on uneven ground.
This is not good for your scope or the people trying to observe.
up each telescope far enough apart for people to move easily between them. This ensures safety for your equipment
and comfort for your observers.
6. Tell people as they arrive not to use lights and cameras and to remove
caps when looking through the eyepiece.
7. If observing close to
out door lighting, e.g. in school grounds etc, check if the out door lights can be turned off for the
duration of your sidewalk observing event.