Not a call I want to get just a few hours before our astronomy club meeting… My presenter for the evening? Tooth extraction?
Yeah, we have no main lecture for the evening.
The West Hawaii Astronomy Club is not a large club, more than a dozen folks is a big meeting. Still, these are dedicated amateur astronomers that can be relied upon to help out with school star parties and observatory events. They have driven all the way to Waimea because I promised them a lecture from an astronomer. A few folks come from Kona 45 minutes to an hour away. I really want to give them something worth the effort of getting here.
They will just have to settle for a talk with Andrea Ghez.
Yes, that Andrea, the closest thing we have to a superstar in astronomy. Discoverer of the black hole at the center of our galaxy, winner of the Crafoord Prize and the Bakerian Medal… That Andrea.
I ran into Andrea at dinner next door to the observatory, we know each other from other outreach events and swapping photos. She is a regular Keck observer with research that concentrates on the massive black hole at the core of our Milky Way galaxy. I asked her if she could come talk with the club, or rather I begged a bit. Being the gracious lady she is, she said yes. Thanks Andrea!!
It was so much better than the warmed over presentation I had thought I would be giving this evening. The small group allowed something closer to a conversation than a lecture. There were some good questions too! We moved past the basics pretty quickly with a group that knew more than a little about the subject. I found the evening very informative, I think everyone did.