Living in NYC I have been thinking how can I target the fast paced lifestyle that keeps people looking down at their phones and not embracing the world around them. After brainstorming I realized that one of the major issues with sidewalk astronomy is location. Being in a densely populated city it's sometimes hard to find a location to show specific objects because of obstructions, so I thought to myself where can I have heavy foot traffic, have limited visual obstructions and be secure at the same time...it hit me right away... The Train Station.
NYC, like many other cities, has a very extensive train system that does in fact have a lot of above ground platforms that offer perfect locations for performing sidewalk astronomy. The beauty of what I dub "Subway Astronomy" is that aside from offering the normal key ingredients of a successful sidewalk astronomy session, it also brings the ability to observe in multiple locations on a single night or across multiple nights, easily. You may be observing in The Bronx at one moment and realize "hey, the cloud cover is impacting my observing session, let me hop on the train and travel to Brooklyn or queens where the cloud cover is not an issue" or just let me expand my normal public observing sessions easily to other locations without necessarily having access to a car and worrying about finding a proper location.
I hope that through my continued public outreach with Jupiter Joe’s Sidewalk Astronomy and in cooperation with urban astronomical clubs, we can continue to expand Subway Astronomy. As we develop this brand of astronomy more I will post information on how to choose the right observing locations, safety, how to bring awareness to your observing sessions and more.