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The Story of Scutum
The Story of Scutum

I'm the wife who goes along to astronomy outreach events for all sorts of non-astronomy reasons. I love nature and the park settings or camping trips with many astronomy events. I want to keep an eye on my kids, even while I listen to them share astronomy sights with the public and learn with my husband. I like to see my kids grow and learn, and I often supplement my husband's technical coaching with my own suggestions about how to talk to the public or engage people's interest. I'm always proud of what my daughter and son have learned and can relate to other kids and grown-ups, like showing a constellation, sharing a fun fact for each moon of Jupiter, or explaining the different types of star clusters.

All that is nice, but one outreach event was especially moving for me. While we volunteered at the Great Basin National Park "Astronomy Festival" last summer, my son told people the story of Scutum. That is a constellation made about 5 centuries ago as "Scutum Sobieski" or "The Shield of King Jan Sobieski". Before my son showed people a star cluster there, he pointed out the constellation in a bright cloud amid the Milky Way glow, and told the story of King Sobieski riding to save Vienna from a tremendous siege, the deed that won his place in the sky. Since I'm Polish-American, with my mother's parents Polish veterans and survivors of the First World War, and my father a Polish teen who survived the Second World War, I was proud to hear my son tell the story so well.

Date Taken: 07/26/2011
Author: Marianne M.
Category: Show & TELescope Contest (2011)

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