Striking Sparks 

Last night was the annual Striking Sparks Awardsgiven by the Sonoma County Astronomical Society (SCAS). This phenomenal program has awarded more than 230 telescopes to promising young scientists in Sonoma County California. This is the 25th year of this program that was started by Robert Ferguson, Larry McCune, and the other members of the SCAS. Bob Ferguson is gone now, but the Robert Ferguson Observatory was named in his honor.

The ceremony is simple and homey and focused on the kids. They were all beaming. We could barely constrain them as the ceremony ended and we took them out to the parking lot to have a look at the night sky. We lucked out and it was nicely clear. Orion was ideally situated and was the first target for most of them.

I left feeling warm all over despite the chill in the air. Here were six kids who weren't as shallow and stupid as most you encounter every day. Maybe there is some hope. <Curmudgeon mode off>


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