Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sidewalk Astronomer

I happen to like to blog about things I have seen. Typically if it isn't a night out drinking, it's something on PBS that is intriguing me. Like for instance the Sidewalk Astronomer...John Dobson.

The Sidewalk Astronomers are a group of amateur astronomers who build telescopes and take them to public places beckoning passersby to come have a look at the heavens. They do this with no profit motive in mind; it is purely for the satisfaction of sharing the wonders of the heavens with others.

They stop people on sidewalks and let them see the craters of the Moon, the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, or the spots on the Sun. For just a moment, they have a personal connection with the universe around them, and sometimes life seems a little better after that.

It's a 1 hour profile of John Dobson, creator of the Dobsonian mount – a device that revolutionized the telescope, making large-diameter telescopes that once necessitated costly setups available to anyone with a few bucks and the will to gaze into deep space.

It was fascinating, and very inspirational.

He doesn't believe in the Big Bang which will inspire some fun conversations here.

Here is an exercept of Dobson sharing his belief. The full documenatary is enlightening.