World Science Festival June 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park, June 2 Washington Square Park

Once again the AAA supported the World Science Festival for two out-of-this-world events. On Saturday, June 1, despite predominant cloud cover, thousands of people flooded the spectacular waterfront area to look through just four telescopes! Kudos to those who brought their telescopes in spite of the poor sky conditions! If we can’t show people the planets, they’re happy enough just to see the telescopes, look at buildings, and talk about astronomy. The backdrop for all this was equally spectacular.

A large stage and huge screen were set up for an engaging discussion with NASA Astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle, and a truly exciting short film experience called “Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe,” created by Grammy® award-winning composer Eric Whitacre. The film’s creators, who were inspired by the famous iconic Hubble Deep Field, were on hand to talk about the images used in the film.

From behind my telescope and amid all those people, I was absolutely mesmerized by the stunningly rich and brilliant images, and the awe-inspiring musical score which radiated outward like gravitational waves across the park—truly a night to remember.

In spite of all this, I packed up at 11pm so I would be fresh for the following day’s big event: The City of Science Street Festival. This event draws many hundreds of visitors to Washington Square Park, where various vendors display all manner of scientific goodies. The volunteers at the AAA table handed out postcards, and talked to visitors about the many stargazing events, lectures, and classes we hold throughout the year. Faissal Halim and Stan Honda were on hand to help operate telescopes for solar observing.

What a star-studded weekend! If you would like to volunteer early for next year’s WSF events, you can email Rori at: rori.baldari@aaa.org

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