The other night, several members of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society brought gigantic telescopes to L’s very own Elementary School for our first-ever Star Party, as part of a public outreach program. Our PTA group, of which I am a member, was there serving hot chocolate and popcorn to the stargazers. Kids and their families were out way past dark enjoying the generosity and expertise of the society volunteers.
They do these events for free, and every local school should contact them to bring this unique experience to their students. These guys were super-awesome and knowledgeable. Here’s some info about the society from their website:
The LAAS has over 300 dedicated members who share a passionate interest in Astronomy. Their ages range from children to adults with skills from beginning astronomer to professionals in the fields of Astronomy and Space Science. Our members are helpful and courteous and have a real desire to help YOU explore the night sky.
The mission of LAAS is to promote interest in and advance the knowledge of astronomy, optics, telescope making and related subjects. In furtherance of its mission, LAAS conducts public star parties and other outreach events that are intended to enhance the public’s understanding of astronomy and its enjoyment and appreciation of the beauties and wonders of our universe.
Here’s a pic of L right after looking at Jupiter. We were able to make out the stripes, and some of the moons in orbit around it.