My interest in astronomy dates far back to my childhood with having a profound interest in science fiction and the basic sciences. My greatest pleasures were experienced not from looking up, but instead, from burying my head in an Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov sci-fi novel. I enjoyed profoundly letting my mind wander into space following whatever fantastic adventures lie within the pages.
It was not until many years later, when by chance, I visited the Griffith Observatory in LA that a deep interest in astronomy science was awakened. I was in LA for a short business trip. One evening, after work, I went for a drive with no particular destination in mind. It was a cool night, I remember, and somehow, I found myself following a winding road up a hill. And there atop the hill was an observatory. I saw many people standing in line, waiting to go inside. With nothing better to do, I followed suit, not knowing in the least what they were waiting for. As the line trickled into the observatory I saw each person stepping up to a large telescope and peering within. I still had no idea what spectacle lay in wait. When it was my turn I looked through the lens and lo, and behold, there was this enormous view of Jupiter, its clouds sharp and crisp looking. And there standing in the foreground was the little moon, Io, with its shadow projected on the gassy surface of Jupiter! That was all it took. Since then, I have read voraciously all that I can about astronomical events, including Sky and Telescope magazine, various newsgroups, and the NASA websites. I think I inhale astro news as much as I do oxygen sometimes! And having experienced this wonderful joy, I try to encourage others, through the Ambassador program, to do the same.
Past Events Hosted By This Ambassador:
NEAR-Shoemaker Mission to NEA Eros 433 Hudson River Museum
New Horizons Visits Pluto Scarsdale Public Library
World Wide Telescope Tour of the Solar System Fox Meadow Elementary
The Cassini Mission to Saturn Hamilton County Public Library - Harrison Branch
Dawn Mission to Asteroid Vesta Pace University Pleasantville