Thursday, April 29, 2010

TotL Observing Schedule

Top of the Lawn (TotL) astronomical observing sessions occur on clear, weekend nights (Fri - Sun) at the Great Lawn in Central Park. Meeting times vary but we try to arrive at or around sunset on the sidewalk at the north end of the Great Lawn. We've been known to stay until park curfew, at least a few hours past sunset unless the weather takes a turn for the bad early. The core group has been pretty consistent showing up over the years though our size waxes and wanes. This affects the number and variety of optics available.

I usually have a telescope setup while others may bring telescopes, tripod-mounted or handheld binoculars - and, we all have a desire to share. We don't hawk views to passersby but those that express an interest or ask, we invite them to the eyepiece and answers their questions. Many of them share stories of their experiences of the stars and planets.

A frequently asked question is how we alert others when we will be out. Currently, we don't. In fact, rarely do we contact each other and it's by chance we meet at TotL. This arrangement has been working for more than 7 years and even familiar, repeat visitors show up to say hello and take in what the season's sky has to offer. If we're not there at least there is a stunning view of New York's skyline and you have a large unencumbered view of the sky from the world's greatest urban park.

I think it's time to put together a notification system using email, google calendar, twitter, or the like. If you are interested send me a note to "tags_p" at yahoo and let me know what could work best for you.

Come out and see us sometime.


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