Monday, July 20, 2009

Drive-In Astronomy

I have been frequenting (why was does that word sound so wrong?) the 5 Drive-In in Oakville on a few occasions where it has actually been clear. I have been tempted to set up the Pronto on a whim just to see what would happen. There are literally hundreds of people there hunkered down in their cages watching the big outdoor screen. Karen and I sit outside of the car taking in the film but both of us have drifted off staring at the night sky if the movie is iffy, watching planes make their finals (or takeoffs) from Pearson Airport and looking at, or literally staring at some old familiar sites. Screen One roughly faces north so The Great Bear makes a dive this time a year towards it. Usually we have spotted Jupiter rising over the diner during the film and as we go home late, it's soaring above the parking lot. Saturday night I was trying to split Mizar and Alcor naked eye. I used to be able to do that. Let's face it, my eye's aren't what they used to be. I also left my wallet there and I have to go retrieve it. Silly me!

It could be an interesting outreach for people to learn. Not sure how the management would feel, but it's not a bad thing I suppose. Perhaps I will be more subtle and just use my 8x42s instead. But the Pronto, being small enough, just might do the trick and just keep it at a minimum towards the back. Of course, there is the possibility of using the facility as an outreach during non-movie times, something to consider.


1 comment:

  1. Mark what a wonderful idea - Go for it. I do some outreach at a local movie theater complex here in Reno and the response is usually excellent with folks already in a festive mood. The theater people are always happy to have the Sidewalk Guy around. I will be hitting the complex again in Mid August with Jupiter playing on the really big screen!

    Bring your astronomy passion and pronto to unexpected places and watch what happens you double star geek! DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!