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San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers

You're strolling along the thoroughfare on a mild summer's evening, wondering if that celestial body just above the Audiffred Building is Jupiter or a particularly sluggish UFO, when you notice a phalanx of people gathered around a large object on the next street corner. Chances are the object is a powerful portable telescope and the guy discussing Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto is a member of the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers, an absolutely celestial group of stargazers dedicated to what they call "urban guerrilla astronomy." The SFSA was founded in 1968 to foster interconnection with the great and mysterious universe all around us, and to that end the group sponsors telescope-making classes, telescope loaner programs, and (best of all) free concrete-jungle glimpses of the craters of the moon, the rings of Saturn, and other interplanetary phenomena. Visit its Web site to find out about upcoming stargazing opportunities.

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