Sky and Telescope
The November issue of Sky and Telescope arrived in the post. Much to my delight one of my C/2020 F3 NEOWISE drawings is published on page 17. It takes up half a page, unusual coverage for a sketch. For the most part, astronomy magazines tend to use astrophotographs for their write-ups. In the weeks after that, my drawing of F3 NEOWISE when into Orbit. More on that below.
Sean Walker, associate editor of Sky and Telescope invited my drawing to be part of his article on the comet. In truth, I could not be more pleased as this publication is one of the world leaders in its field. It has a wide readership plus it comes in both printed and e-versions.
Local people here were consequently very pleased to see Clare Island featured in an International publication. That fact plus the rare visiting comet brought smiles to the faces around the village including my own.
F3 NEOWISE in Orbit
Then last week I was notified that the same drawing was going to be featured in Orbit. Well not exactly in orbit around the planet but within the magazine produced by The Irish Astronomical Society. The pdf version arrived in my inbox. A second surprise as it made the cover !! . The printed copy arrived this week. It was very special to me that this drawing was featured. My involvement with astronomy, in general, has a long history with the IAS.
Cue the violins, getting sentimental
When my children were younger I used to write the occasional article and send them into Orbit. They published all of them even though I had not met anyone from the society or had the time to go to any meetings.
On my first visit to Ely House (IAS meeting place), I introduced myself and asked if I could borrow their digital projector so I could do a presentation in a school in Greystones. Yes, they said, and I went home that evening with the IAS projector. That week I did my first talk for kids. 120 of them, a borrowed projector, a borrowed sound system and the support of a good friend. At the time I was doing Communications in UCD. It was a pivotal day.
In the two years before that week, I had taken a broad course to try to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life. In that course were several modules. One was communication, this gave me the first opportunity to speak to a group for the first time. I decided to talk about something close to my heart. My colleagues were slightly astonished as I choose to do my talk about the Milky Way. Their positive reaction was very warming to me.
At the end of those two years, I decided to continue to do a Diploma in Communications at University College Dublin. It was during that time that the opportunity to give a presentation to children in a school in Greystones came about. The IAS lending me the projector made that possible. I knew that day, beyond a shadow of a doubt that educational outreach was what I wanted to do forever. That was my journey.
My drawing of F3 NEOWISE currently in both of these publications brought some happiness to me in these difficult times. Here is the link to the Irish Astronomical Societies website and here is the link to Sky and Telescope.