Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cosmosphere's Starry Night Party

Friday night was the Cosmosphere's Starry Night party. It was a really cool event. I can say that because it wasn't my idea - it was well underway before I ever showed up on the scene.

We started at 5:30 and it went until midnight - past the 10:30 stated time. We had kid's activities of various sorts, speakers, rocket demonstrations and star gazing. I've heard nothing but wonderful comments about it.

My main job once things were underway was to take photos to capture the event. I hadn't even touched the Cosmosphere's camera before Friday, but fortunately, I got some decent ones.

My favorite is these kids watching them make liquid oxygen ice cream. I particularly love the photo below, which is just a crop of this little boy who is experiencing pure joy.

You may notice he has an alien guy tattoo on his arm. I had one on my hand, too. We were doing these temporary tattoos and I experimented on myself to see how they worked. While I was trying to read the instructions and figure it out, a kid - about nine years old - came by and told me I was doing it wrong and gave me advice.

Thank goodness, YP volunteers were there to do them for the kids since, obviously, my skills in this regard were lacking.

I was eventually successful in my experiment, and sported a glow in the dark alien all night long. When I brushed my teeth last night I thought... hmmm... I better scrub this off. When I went to bed I reached over to get something and thought, "what is that light?" I had missed one little sliver of glow in the dark and my hand was giving off a green glow. All I could do was chuckle.

Martin Ratcliffe, a contributing editor to Astronomy magazine spoke to the crowd about what they could see in the night sky.

Kids could build and launch air rockets. That was a popular spot.

There were also rocket demonstrations. There must have been 60 kids running after the rockets as they were setting them off.

Volunteers brought out tons of different kinds of telescopes and let people look through them at various things. It was a great time to see Jupiter.

Some of these were beyond what I think of when I hear "telescope."

All in all a very cool event. Although, I have to say, I've become convinced that it's hard to beat the sheer entertainment value of liquid oxygen ice cream.

And then you get to eat it too.


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