The school star party program is winding down, with just two events remaining on the calendar. There have been 25 successful events and 13 cloud-outs. This is sharply better than 1999-2000, when we did 14 successes and 10 cloud-outs. Most have been at elementary schools, with a smattering of middle and high schools. In addition, SJAA has about 25 public star parties at Houge Park each year, and we have school or scout groups there, but I don't have a count, perhaps another dozen.
This year, we experimented with after-DST (Darkness Squandering Time) events at grade schools, and I'm happy to report that, despite the late time, 8 to 10 pm, we had good turnouts! So our season is extended a couple weeks, and there's more time to get from job to school.
Special thanks go to our stalwarts, Bill O'Shaughnessy, Gary Mitchell, and Jim Bartolini. Honorable mention to Terry Kahl, Bob Havner, and others who have come out when their jobs allowed. My apologies for not listing you all. We have a few PAS members who help when we're on that side of the valley, and another few Stanford students who help when we're wayyy up the peninsula.
We have done events from Mountain View to Milpitas to Morgan Hill, with most in San Jose east of Hwy.101.
John Dobson has said that the measure of a telescope is not the size of the mirror, or the quality of the figure, or the smoothness of the mount; the measure of a telescope is the number of non-astronomers who have looked through it. By this measure, we have some superb instruments!
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