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In addition to our formal, advertised series of events, we host a number of informal unannounced activities we call Guerilla Astronomy. These outreach opportunities are meant to engage people as they go about their daily lives, so we can better reach out to members of the public who may not already be enthusiastic about science.
Among these activities, we organize Sidewalk Stargazing events, where we set up telescopes on popular pedestrian streets on busy evenings where we expect a lot of passersby. We offer members of the public views of the night sky through these telescopes and discussions about whatever science questions they may have. While stargazing from brightly lit city streets isn't ideal for astronomical observation, we are still able to easily view solar system objects like Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars, and the Moon. Sometimes, we'll also shoot for a view of the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades, the Andromeda Galaxy or other bright deep sky objects, but these are usually best left to observe at our Stargazing Lectures.
We also engage in something we call Science Train, where a group of us boards the LA Metro on a weekend afternoon to talk with members of the public. We hold up signs inviting people to "Ask an Astrophysicist" with some sample questions written down. This is usually enough to break the ice and start interesting discussions on what might otherwise be a boring train ride for everyone.
All told, these events are fun and a great way to engage with the public beyond traditional activities in universities and libraries. Keep an eye out for us, and we hope to run into you soon!