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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Roosevelt Island Residents Gathered Last Saturday Night To Moonwatch, Stargaze And Search For International Space Station With 2 Very Large Telescopes Courtesy Of iDig2Learn And OB Astronomy


Excited Roosevelt Island residents, young and a bit older,


gathered on a brisk Saturday evening at the Riverwalk Commons to gaze at the moon, stars and even the International Space Station from two large telescopes


brought to the Riverwalk Commons courtesy of iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico and OB Astronomy's Chris Vallo.
Christina Delfico, iDig2Learn’s founder who organized the event as part of the Celebrating Roosevelt Island’s Nature series reports over a hundred folks came out and definitely wants to invite Chris back. Ms Delfico adds:
Saturday night’s clear skies were all we needed for OBAstronomy’s visiting expert Chris Vallo to grab his high-powered telescope and set up on Roosevelt Island.


The night was cooler than expected but no one wanted to leave and with the telescope still on the hand truck crowds of curious residents of all ages were gathering wanting to look. Chris likes to say, patience and hope are key traits of budding astronomers and that was true as we waiting until 8:30 pm for the giant pink colored full moon to peak up

Image From Arsha Antony

over buildings in Long Island City.

Riverwalk Commons, the area between Fuji East restaurant and Duane Reade, provided great viewing grounds as old and new friends came out and patiently lined up twenty-five at a time behind each telescope for a glimpse of our Moon’s craters.


One very young viewer learning to talk uttered a few words as she squealed with delight saying, “Big, big, balloon,” and motioned her hands as if to hug the moon.


Friends we see on the sidewalk stopped and stayed for hours getting to know each other better.

As if the bright full moon weren’t enough, seeing Jupiter rising added to the excitement. One freelance casting agent said she had been at the home office all week and she just had to come out to see this. As she looked through the lens she noticed that the four moons of Jupiter were visible.

Luke a young resident savvy to all things space including the International Space Station’s flyover times and about 40 viewers shouted and pointed as it’s bright lights whizzed by making the arch between buildings in less than two minutes.

Another teen talked about her high school report on singularity, while many of every age confessed they had never looked through a telescope before. What surprised me was the excitement and the huge smiles after looking through the scope.

Chris from OBAstronomy who humbling states he is just a guy with a telescope,


is a self-taught astronomer and astrophotographer who loves bringing people together to view the sky said, “It is very healing to see our universe and to realize whatever is going on in our life, there is something bigger.”


Photos of the moon are still coming in from neighbors who raved about the evening.

Image From Arsha Antony
Since 2013, OBAstronomy’s Chris Vallo has been exploring the universe from the piers and sidewalks of New York City by day and night delighting the public with over 350 urban astronomy and astrophotography events totaling over 1,700 hours of free telescope viewing.
To experience Astronomy and Astrophotography that is grounded in humanity, community, perspective and gratitude, where everyone is welcome, all events are free and no membership is required please follow him at @obastronomy on FB, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope.

iDig2Learn is a project of Open Space Institute, Inc., a nonprofit (501(c)3 public charity and the a recipient of a grant that is producing nature happenings which are free to the public. The iDig2Learn Series: Celebrating Roosevelt Island’s Nature aims to excite islanders about the wonders of our land, water and sky while giving busy New Yorkers an excuse to get outside, share an experience in nature and build new friendships. Please follow @iDig2Learn on instagram and twitter to find out more.

In addition to the Audubon New York bird workshops which have now wrapped up,

next up for the iDig2Learn Series: Celebrating Roosevelt Island’s Nature will be a table at Roosevelt Island day on June 8th and an insect capture and identification on June 22nd, so stay tuned for that.

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