Galaxy Zoo meetups in North America?
UPDATE: There are plans afoot for a California meetup on September 27th! Read about it on the forum, and go if you can!
One of the greatest things about Galaxy Zoo has been the real-life meetings it has inspired, and the friendships that have resulted from these interactions. Alice wrote two wonderful blogposts (1 and 2) about the first set of meetups, and there have been more since then.
So far, though, the meetups have all taken place in the UK (as far as I know – although they have been attended by people from continental Europe). Galaxy Zoo has a lot of volunteers in the rest of the world that have thus far missed out on the fun of a Galaxy Zoo meetup.Fortunately, the Galaxy Zoo forum has taken up the challenge by discussing potential North American Galaxy Zoo meetups. Garrett_cw posted a thread on July 18th. Since then, the thread has evolved and lots of great suggestions have been made. The trouble, of course, is that North America is a big continent – so we’ll need several meetups for all of us to meet.
Several ideas for meetup locations have come up in the forum thread; here they are. Are any of you interested in attending or coordinating such a meetup? Head on over to the North America Meetup forum thread, and let’s get ready!
1) Washington: GES suggested a meetup at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington. It’s a great attraction – it has Charles Lindbergh’s plane The Spirit of St. Louis; SpaceShipOne, the first privately-built spacecraft; and a filming model of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek. It’s also close to Baltimore, so I could come down for the meetup if it worked with my schedule.
3) New Haven, Connecticut: Zookeeper Kevin, newly of Yale University, suggests a meetup there. Something might be able to be arranged with the public observatory or the planetarium. New Haven is 2 hours by car from New York and 2 1/2 hours from Boston.
4) Los Angeles: Elizabeth suggested a meeting in the City of Angels, the largest city on the Pacific coast. Just north of L.A. is Mount Wilson Observatory, open for public tours once a month, where we first realized we lived in an expanding universe.
5) Florida: Elizabeth and SpaceMunkie suggested meeting somewhere in Florida. My parents live in Orlando, so if it were close to a holiday, I might be able to come. The Kennedy Space Center is there, so we could visit, and if it happened to be a launch day, you can see the launch from most of central Florida. The next shuttle launch is currently October 8th (a night launch! sweet!). That launch is the mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope, which will allow us to learn more about the Voorwerp.
So that’s five great ideas. The beautiful thing about our community, though, is that there is no reason to restrict ourselves to just one. Anywhere that two or more volunteers can get together, we have a Galaxy Zoo meetup!
If anyone is interested, say so on the forum thread. Let’s meet!