One of the highlights of the program so far has been the interest shown by children. Inquisitive young minds can change the world, and I think our facility has the spark those curious minds need. It’s inspiring to see the questions and answers brought forth by young people who have attended our viewings. Another pinnacle of this program thus far was hosting Worthy Eclipse week. This once in a lifetime, momentous event brought together many passionate educators and attracted a lot of interest to Worthy.
As one can imagine, a large tower with a rotating dome is quite the eye catcher to anyone driving by Worthy, so we have seen quite the diverse crowd coming to learn about the wonders of our corner of infinity - daycare children, Saturn V rocket engineers, students working on Ph.D.s in astronomy, an engineer who worked on an instrument for Saturn's Cassini spacecraft, and so many more passionate guests. The wide range of folks we have hosted gives me hope in a world that seems turbulent at times. I am ceaselessly excited to share the beauty and awe of our place in space and I think we all need some cosmic perspective.
Another extremely exciting aspect of our observatory is our ability to capture images through our telescope and share them with the public. Like the image of the Andromeda galaxy featured above, you may have seen some of these beautiful photos of the universe on our Facebook or Instagram. To me, being able to capture more than the eye and brain can perceive with techniques like long exposure photography can further allow us to fit the unfathomably complex and vast nature of the cosmos into our brains. That being said, there is truly nothing like seeing an object with your own eye, and this is how the majority of our viewing is done. The connection of faint light from a distant object to our comprehending eyes can be life changing. It never gets old.
As we enter into fall and winter we will continue to run seasonally appropriate viewing programs dependent on weather and our ability to view. Although fall and winter viewing can be quite chilly, it is well worth braving the cold to experience the clear and stable viewing conditions winter provides. We will also be featuring new objects! The pleiades open star cluster and the Orion Nebula are two of my favorite winter objects that we have yet to view through our telescope so this is an exciting transition for us. Keep an eye on the WGC website and Facebook page for updates on our viewing scheduling.
Thank you again for supporting our mission to promote curiosity, science literacy, and thoughtful stewardship of our home planet. Feel free to contact me with any questions or to book a private viewing. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hopservatory Manager, NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador