ASP2021: A Virtual Conference
1:55 PM - 2:45 PM: Concurrent Session 7D: 1:55 pm PST (4:55 pm EST) - Oral Presentations
Sharing Celestial Events With the World Free and From Home
Conference Strand: Doing Public Engagement in Informal Settings
Roy Gal, University of Hawai'i Institute for Astronomy
Abstract of Session/Presentation: The COVID pandemic forced many of us to cancel all in-person events. At the University of Hawai'i, we partnered with local amateur astronomers to produce live streams of celestial events at little to no cost to us, without using closed public parks or other facilities. Setting up a telescope with a CCD camera in a faculty member's driveway, and streaming via Zoom to YouTube and Facebook, we shared planetary conjunctions and a lunar eclipse with tens of thousands of people across the globe. I discuss our very simple setup, demonstrating how a few individuals, using limited resources in an urban area, can create an engaging event for astronomy enthusiasts.