August 31, 2012

Star Party!

Man, that was cool.  Marian Call sang about Shark Week.  Geo. Hrab sang about, well, everything.  Dr. Phil Plait regaled us with the awesomeness that is the Mars Curiosity Rover and Dr. Nicole Gugliucci  told us about all kinds of stuff, including her citizen science outreach program called CosmoQuest.

Click that link for CosmoQuest if you have kids or are just a generally curious human being in general.  It looks like a cool project.  I actually volunteered to help man the CosmoQuest booth for a spell at this weekends Dragon*Con.  I'm an educator who loves science, how could I not?

I saw many Skepchicks there. Including, of course, the fabulous Maria Walters who basically set the whole thing up.  She's amazing.

Frasier Cain was there!  You don't know who he is?  Then stop reading this and check this out video RIGHT NOW! Best use of Google+ Hangouts ever.

And it was for a good cause!  Thanks to Dale McGowan who was there from the Foundation Beyond Belief.

One funny story: my 9-year-old daughter asked where I was going all dressed up.  I told her I was going a party with some amazing astronomers.  She actually knows who Phil plait is since we did the Google Hangouts for the transit of Venus and part of the Curiosity landing.

What, you don't what that stuff with your kids?  Who are you people!

Anyway, I asked her if she had any questions for the astronomers.  She said shed have to think about it.  Right before I left she told me to ask if satellites all stay in their same orbits all the time or if they can be somehow moved around.

Wow!  What a question!

So I asked Dr. Phil Plait and the first thing he did was smile and say, "That is a really great question!"  Then he went on to patiently explain that while some stay in their orbit, some can in fact be controlled if they have fuel and jets.  Some have gyroscopes to do this as well.  The Hubble being a case in point.  (You know he worked on the Hubble, right?)

So thank you Phil Plait!

Can't wait to see them all again this weekend at DRAGON*CON!