Thoughts after the workshop...
Well, we've had some time to settle back into life after the 2nd Citizen Sky Workshop in San Francisco. I still have some left over "warm fuzzies" from our time there. Our venue, the California Academy of Sciences, was gorgeous and the staff there were very helpful and friendly. We had a wonderful group of attendees and speakers. I am very excited that everything was caught on video and look forward to posting those on the website soon. I have already started to post the speakers' presentation files (ppt/pdf) so that you can follow along with the slides as you watch the videos once they are posted.
During this workshop I was especially inspired by the way in which Citizen Sky participants are able to bring their own unique skills to the table and put them to use. Nico Camargo, a very talented artist, has studied up on the ever-changing theories surrounding eps Aur in order to create scientifically informed illustrations of the system. He presented his latest illustration of what the eps Aur system might look like at the recent workshop. David Benn, a software developer by trade, has put his considerable skill set to work creating an amazing (and always improving!) data visualization and analysis tool, VStar. He led an informative session at the workshop on how to use this piece of software. Bob Miller, a musician and Citizen Sky participant/workshop attendee shared an astronomical song that he composed for the Citizen Sky project.
What new theory might Nico's illustrations help someone to grasp? What aspect of the data set might David's program help you explore? What newbie or old-timer might have their attention captured or interest inspired by Bob's song? ...and these are just three examples out of over 3000 registered participants!
We all care about astronomy - that's what bonds us together. I feel that the magic of this project lies in the things that make us different from each other... the unique interests and skills that we can apply to the project. We are lucky to have many resources (website, workshops, etc.) that support the work we are doing. However, I sincerely believe that you, our participants, and all of the random things that make you who you are are truly this project's greatest asset. Thank you for giving of yourself. :)