SEE MORE THAN JUST THE CITY LIGHTS WITH STARGAZING AT TRANSMITTER PARK
by Demetria Osei-Tutu, August 2, 2022
Stargazing on the Transmitter Park Pier started in 2018. And it’s finally back after being canceled for two years because of the pandemic. The event happens about twice a year, as of time of this writing. Steve Chesler, member of the Steering Committee for Friends of Transmitter Park, mentioned to Greenpointers how the organization looks for innovative sources of programming in the park and started this event after researching what other park groups are doing around the city.
He saw that Amateur Astronomers Association (AAA) was offering free stargazing in parks all over the city and other open spaces. He thought Transmitter Park would be an ideal spot for them so he invited the non-profit group and has partnered with them ever since. Amateur Astronomers Association is a volunteer non-profit which promotes the study of astronomy.
Chesler told Greenpointers that Transmitter Park was designed as a “passive park,” a sanctuary where people can unplug from the magnitude of their lives and from the concrete jungles of New York City. So he’s aware of how important events like stargazing at Transmitter Park are.
“It’s one thing to see reprinted and posted images digital….[of] planets and stars, to actually do it outside…through the lens of a telescope, you know, it’s much more powerful,” Chelser said. “It’s still really cool… to be able to see something through this device. These objects that are just so far away from us, it’s kind of mind blowing though. It kind of shakes you out the stress and the drudgery of everyday life.”
Chesler has had the amazing opportunity to see Saturn’s rings, Jupiter and its four moons, as well as Mars in a dust storm (although the image was blurry). He credits those experiences as some of the coolest things he has witnessed stargazing. He states that aside from seeing the moon tomorrow night and all its details, based on the orbit of our planet, Jupiter should be on the viewing itinerary too.
For Chesler, getting to witness these sights “brings out a childlike amazement.” So take the opportunity to unwind, unleash your childlike amazement and see the celestial wonders nature has to offer at Transmitter Park.
Chesler hopes that stargazing will happen more than twice a year in the future. And that they can morph this event into a workshop that brings in astronomers, astrophysicists, and other space educators to discuss astronomy for example extensively and study the sky further.
There are other amazing, educational, and fun events folks can check out on the Friends of WNYC Transmitter Park’s website. And for other stargazing and astronomy-centered events, you can go to Amateur Astronomers Association’s website.
P.S the weather is looking perfect for stargazing tomorrow, but check Transmitter Park’s Instagram for weather updates.