Sharing the beauty and majesty of God's universe through astronomy!
I am an engineer working in the semiconductor industry. I live, play, and work in Austin, TX. I have been involved in amateur astronomy for about 11 years.
All my telescopes are of the "go to" variety which means that they are computer controlled and will "go to" objects in the objects catalog after aligning the mount to 2-3 stars.
I currently own the following telescopes:
Orion Skyquest XTg12 Dobson (truss Dob, computerized and tracks)
Celestron Nexstar 80GT refractor
Celestron Nexstar Evolution 8 (my favorite for sidewalk astronomy)
Celestron Nexstar 102SLT refractor
After experiencing the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (aka the Christmas Star of 2020) in December 2020, I spent the past year researching several books and a DVD written to explain what each author believed was the star mentioned in chapter 2 of the Gospel of Matthew.
Below is the link to the YouTube video of my presentation to the Reasons to Believe – Austin, TX chapter on December 11, 2021. RTB is a faith and science ministry started by astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross in 1986. Full disclosure: I am an officer of the Austin, TX chapter of RTB.
During this 55-minute talk, I reviewed The Star of Bethlehem DVD (2007), the book, The Great Christ Comet, by Colin R. Nicholl (2015), and the Reasons to Believe perspective (2002 – 2021). I close the talk with the Psalm 19 Astronomy Society perspective (my personal opinion which evolved in 2021 based on this study).
2020 was definitely not a good year for anything social especially sidewalk astronomy! We stopped hosting events in March and had only a couple of events in late September and also for the December 21 Great Conjunction.
With the vaccine now being made available we hope to be able to resume our sidewalk events in Central Texas and other areas in the spring of 2020.
Lastly, the main way to contact us is through our email@example.com. The Facebook Psalm 19 Astronomy Society group page is only checked once or twice per week.
This is a new sidewalk astronomy ministry group called “Psalm 19 Astronomy” that was started in June 2016 in downtown Austin, Texas USA. This ministry is based on Psalm 19:1-2 written by King David about 3000 years ago:
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge”
– Psalm 19:1-2
This new ministry is a great way to share God’s word in a gentle manner while showing people God’s beautiful world through a telescope. The ministry mission is “Sharing the beauty and majesty of God’s universe through astronomy.” Members simply host sidewalk astronomy events a few times per year in a high pedestrian traffic area near where they live. I have been hosting mine on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge near downtown Austin, TX since June 2016. About 1100 people have accepted our offer to look in our telescope at the Moon and planets between June and November of last year. See an attached image with photo of one event.
The real story of this ministry is about the people we meet and the lives we touch with this ministry. While most people only stop by for a few minutes, there are several each night who hang around for over an hour asking questions about the night sky and God. And several people are frequent visitors. You can read about some of these stories on our Psalm 19 Astronomy Facebook group page.
A key sharing part of the event is to pass out Psalm 19 Astronomy cards to passersby who look into the telescope. The cards have an image of the nine planets on the front along with the Psalm 19:1-2 verses (yes, I still count Pluto as a planet.) The backside has educational information about each of the planets. See the attachment with the image of the front and backsides of the card. I have the artwork ready to share for free for you to have printed at your own expense either locally or through online businesses.
God is already growing this ministry. There are three associate astronomers who have already joined Psalm 19 Astronomy:
Brad who lives near Ft. Worth, TX and also summers in the Badlands National Park
Terry who lives near Charlotte, NC
Brandon who works at NASA in Clear Lake, TX
Marvin who lives near Mesquite, TX
Spring 2019: Matthew started a new San Antonio, TX group
I fully expect that God will continue to grow this ministry in 2017 to other cities across America – and maybe even across the world.
There is no cost to become a member of this ministry. If anyone is interested in being a part of this ministry then please reply to this post or go to the Facebook page Psalm 19 Astronomy (https://www.facebook.com/groups/psalm19astronomy/) and ask to join that group.
You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.