CORNWALL, Ontario – Brendan Bronzan is on a mission to get people to look up. Way up.
The self-proclaimed space nerd and solo astronomer has made it a personal mission to get people in urban centres to discover the magic and mystery of the night sky. Through his business Speaking of Space, he brings the universe to their sidewalk – literally.
“I just wanted to put some telescopes in public,” he said of the origins of his business. “I want to bring the night sky to people in the city.”
Mr. Bronzan has experimented with this by putting telescopes in public spaces and hosting free sidewalk astronomy nights.
“I tried it in Kanata and it took off. Over 100 people showed up,” he said.
Building on his past success, Mr. Bronzan is planning his next sidewalk astronomy night in Cornwall, his hometown.
A Speaking of Space Sidewalk Astronomy event is planned for Friday, June 22nd at the pop up park at the corner of Pitt and First Streets in Downtown Cornwall. The event will begin at 10 pm, weather permitting.
Visitors will have a chance to look through telescopes and get a first-hand view of the moon and visible planets. Space-oriented virtual reality headsets will also be on hand to give visitors a chance to feel like they are orbiting the moon or floating through a nebula.
Light pollution in cities can be a major drawback to astronomy, but Mr. Bronzan said it doesn’t affect the ability to experience seeing planets.
“It’s going to have the same clarity (as in total darkness),” he said.
Now in his third season, Mr. Bronzan has aspirations to build on his passion and offer even more public sessions or hands-on learning experiences. The immediate goal is to spread his passion for space, one person at a time.
“I just want people to take a minute and look up,” he said.
For more information on the sidewalk astronomy event, please check out the Facebook event page. In the event weather forces cancellation, it will be posted on that page the day of the event.
You can also find out more about Speaking of Space here:
Looking for other fun things to do in Cornwall? Make sure to check out our Events page for info on upcoming events in the area!
Planning a visit to Cornwall? Cornwall Tourism can help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of our Visitor Guide or contact us at (613) 936-0842. You can also stop by our Visitor Information Centre inside the Cornwall Community Museum (160 Water Street West) in Lamoureux Park.
Article by Kevin Lajoie