Results from a big sidewalk astronomy event in Philadelphia

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Elaine Feldman of West Chester, Pennsylvania, won a Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ telescope at the 2013 Philadelphia Science Carnival. // All photos: Derrick Pitts
Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute Science Museum, recently sent us a report on a large public event his facility participated in Saturday, April 20. He said that he and his staff set up just outside the institute on the main street in front of their building as part of the Philadelphia Science Festival’s kickoff event, Science Carnival.

Amateur astronomers had four telescopes observing the Sun or Jupiter on the sidewalk for the whole time. Thousands of people showed up, and it couldn’t have been a better day — beautifully sunny with pleasant temperatures.

During the day, people entered their names for a prize drawing. The winner was Elaine Feldman of West Chester, Pennsylvania. She was happy to have had her name selected out of so many entries and took home a Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ telescope.

A young observer sits under the Franklin Institute’s SunGun telescope donated by Bruce Hegerberg of Norcross, Georgia. Henry Blanco White of the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society (left, bending slightly to look at the image) is operating it.

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