This blog is about astronomy, and cycling, and putting both of them together. It’s also about science, nature, and space exploration. The Bicycle Astronomy project combines my passion for introducing people to the universe’s wonders and spurring them to think about sustainable transportation. I throw spontaneous star parties all around the city using a “long-tail” cargo bike called a Mundo to carry my observing gear and sandwich-board signs that I set up in Geneva the morning of an event. The best place to get updates on the project’s Geneva-area events is the Facebook page, Bicycle Astronomy Workshop.
Posted by DougReilly on May 17, 2013
This little panel from Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes appeared on facebook last week, and it totally nails the motivation for Bicycle Astronomy and other public outreach projects. Look up more. Live better.
Posted by DougReilly on November 15, 2013
On Saturday night, the good, hard working people of the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center held their annual award and appreciation dinner at the Sons of Italy. Bicycle Astronomy was honored with a “most innovative project of 2013″ certificate. It was great to meet the movers and shakers of the various, newly constituted “neighborhoods”, especially the folks in East Lakeview, who recently completed a clean up of Gulvin Park, one of G-town’s pocket park gems that I have not yet visited with my telescope. In the future I want to communicate more with the neighborhood associations and help me get the word out to people who live near the parks where I will be setting up.
Special thanks to Marty Davis for the indefatigueable support for Bicycle Astronomy!
Posted by DougReilly on November 6, 2013
I love the scene in 2010 (the far less ambitious but much more watchable sequel to 2001) where the Russian space apparatchik convinces Dr. Heywood Floyd to join the Alexi Leonov on its mission to Jupiter. (It’s a great film, real science fiction and very much a film of its moment, when the Cold War was reaching a point of lunatic brinksmanship.) That scene took place at the Very Large Array in New Mexico, and that’s probably how I first became aware of the US’s great radio telescope array.
The VLA probably entered most reader’s consciousness through the film Contact, which has Jodie Foster’s Ellie Arroway receiving an extraterrestrial signal from the star Vega at the VLA.
Jodie Foster narrates this new video about the VLA, made to be an interpretive film for visitors. It’s a great film that only mentions SETI in its choice of narrator, focusing rather on the day to day science the VLA does and the technical feats required to run such a large radio interferometer. Good stuff, including some wonderful examples from the recent renaissance of time-lapse astrophotography.
Posted by DougReilly on October 11, 2013
Finally a clear night, in terms of the sky and my schedule. Let’s do some Bicycle Astronomy! How about the lakefront park for a change of pace? Look for us (cargo bicycle, telescope, astronomer) by the ice cream stand, playground and the pier. 9pm-11pm.
Posted by DougReilly on September 28, 2013