For anyone who missed our planning meeting on Thursday, here are your out of order and possibly incomplete minutes:
- Charles has agreed to reprise his role as project manager extraordinaire and reviewed his credentials as astro-badass, for those who don’t know: Charles most certainly IS an astro-badass.
- Tom will be assuming the role of ‘visionary artist.” Please contact me at anytime for any questions you might have at 661.435.6274 or firstname.lastname@example.org or you can hit me up on FB.
- We need a place to build this crazy thing! Charles is concerned that we need a flat base to build. I’ve been looking around and asking, but any input you can give would be greatly appreciated.
- We decided that people calling us “BRO” would be acceptable, no need to change to B.R.City Observatory, we’ll own ‘BRO’, dude.
- We ran through the main concepts for the observatory which you can find in our “Files” section.
- Essentially, our plan so far includes:
- an observatory dome with 2 or more scopes for an astronomical viewing with a robust daytime program including solar telescope; the dome will likely be powered by collaboration
- an “open air” planetarium where we can give lectures and star talks aided by laser pointers and space jokes;
- a gallery of sorts to house a meteorite and other weatherproof exhibits.
- Equatorial Planet “Lasers” – Color-coded lasers mounted on equatorial telescope mounts that will track the planets through out the night to point burners to their celestial neighbors even while dancing. We’ve been offered a loaner laser from LazerGlow and 50% off from Wicked Lasers.
- Scott shared concerns that we need activities that aren’t curated and we need everyone’s ideas on this – what will the observatory offer if it is unmanned? If we can manage to create a secure exhibit for a real meteorite, participants (should we call them ‘pants’ for short?) will be able to touch space with nary a docent in site. “Weigh yourself on the planets!” scales? Sundial? Solar System Scale Model?
- We discussed a short list of targets for the scopes, essentially these: Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, Mars, the Moon and deep sky objects (DSO’s) like the Lagoon Nebula (m8), the Trifid Nebula (m20), the Ring Nebula (m57), the Dumbbell Nebula (M27)
- We set a schedule for future planning meetings. We’ll meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays for a video conference on Google Hangout for now.
- Scott suggested we look into Zoom for video conferencing; his team uses the services regularly with great success
- With the BRO name solidified, Pat Rapp stated she could register BlackRockObservatory.com and DesertWizards.com and Phoenix offered her blogging skills to get us started. Both are now reserved and there’s a template blog page live at BlackRockObservatory.com this very moment. If you have anything to say or ideas for blogs or content, please sound off! We’ll need a lot of content over the next year, so don’t be shy.
Again, there’s a more detailed plan in a doc called, “Main Components, Ideas and Inspiration” in the Files section of this Facebook Group.I’m sure there’s some stuff in here that I forgot, please feel free to edit and add topics we covered if you like.
If you’re reading this, I can’t thank you enough. We have a chance here to give people that amazing feeling that we get when we listen to the philosophy and musings of Uncle Carl (Sagan). We can give them the incredulous wonder of viewing Saturn’s rings for the first time. We have the unique opportunity to give burners something huge that will be with them after Exodus, a chance most other artists at Burning Man don’t get. People all over the world will come to Black Rock City for an amazing week only to return home with fading memories of awesomeness, we can send them home with the night-sky as a trusted friend. The laser beams, amazing art cars, endless nights of dancing, dusty hugs, playa gifts and shirt-cockers will dissolve into memory, but when they look at the stars above them, they’ll remember the planetary views, they’ll remember that science knocked their socks off and they’ll take home the best swag anyone has ever gotten from Burning Man: their own universe. Thanks to everyone who believes in this idea. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.