La Societe Guernesiaise Astronomy Section
Most of my astronomy outreach is through my local astronomical society, of which I have been a member for the last 5 years. I’ve held multiple positions on the Council, including Editor and been active with outreach for the last few years. It has been an amazing way to meet incredibly a diverse group of people with a range of experiences, including some retired professional astronomers, who have inspired me to pursue astronomy professionally. One of my mentors, who nominated me for Fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society, was David Le Conte, who amongst his many achievments took the only photo of the Apollo 10 TLI burn. He was also the Executive Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Research Foundation in Washington DC for a number of years.
Below is an incomplete list of the kinds of outreach and promotion I have done with the Astronomy Section.
- Operated telescopes (8 inch NexSTAR 8SE, Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro, MEADE LX200 16”) and showed members of the public the moon, the planets and the night sky for weekly open evenings during the summer for several years.
- Solar outreach at schools (see this article), including explaining sunspots, the corona, photosphere and chromosphere, and the solar cycle to sixth form students.
- Produced articles and activities for the website on black holes, galaxies and nebulae aimed at children.
- Write and edit articles for the bi-yearly Sagittarius newsletter, and publish articles by local students. The newsletter is then distributed to the full membership as well as local schools.
- Aug 2021 - Gave a talk on the Sun to a group of children signed up to a introductory astronomy course, and showed them sunspots through a solarscope.
- Feb 2021 - Gave a Zoom talk on Mars, Mars missions and specifically the Perserverance Rover to local schoolchildren during the Covid lockdown. They ranged from 5-14 and asked some incredibly thoughtful questions!
- Aug 2020 - 20 minute talk on Comet Neowise to members of the public during open evenings.
- Sept 2020 - Hour long ticketed talk on black holes and the significance of the Event Horizon Telescope image.
- Participated in an live TV interview for ITV news on Comet Neowise and noctilucent clouds.
- Numerous radio interviews on BBC Radio Guernsey about topical astronomical events such as comets, meteor showers, the close approach of Mars.
I love giving talks and help make astonomy more accessible for everyone, so please contact me if you’d like me to give a talk on astronomy!