Astronomer Joe Guzman brings the cosmos to Chicagoans: ‘Their eyes just light up’

Class of students with astronomy teacher
Astronomy educator Joe Guzman conducts public astronomy sessions in Chicago Park District parks, where people of all walks of life get together to look through a telescope. Photo credit Joe Guzman

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Astronomy educator Joe Guzman said you can see the galaxy in Chicago — city lights and all.

He conducts public astronomy sessions in Chicago Park District parks, where people of all walks of life get together to look through a telescope.

“We go from park to park to park, and we set up telescopes, and we … have a great time looking at planets, galaxies, and binary stars,” he said.

Guzman is also an instructor for After School Matters. He said the best part of his job is watching how people react to seeing stars and planets for the very first time.

“The first view is of the planet Saturn and its gorgeous ring system,” he said. “Oh, man, their eyes just light up.”

He said for some people, it can be a very moving experience.

“Everyone loves it,” Guzman said. “I even have people start to cry.”

Guzman said the purpose of his astronomy programs is to teach people that they are space explorers, and that space exploration is for everyone.

“So, I’m hoping that my program here at After School Matters, my efforts with Chicago Astronomer, and all the places that I teach and lecture at [gets people to say], ‘Yeah, I can do that,’” he said.

Joe Guzman, the Chicago Astronomer. Making a difference.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Joe Guzman