Joe Guzman, aka Chicago Astronomer Joe, is the founder of The Chicago Astronomer (CA) and the patron saint of Chicago urban astronomy. Joe and his merry CA crew of amateur astronomers practice "Sidewalk Astronomy," a spontaneous and more personal version of public outreach. On most clear nights, you can find CA Joe setting up "The Beast" (an imposing 11" SCT telescope) on the grounds just outside the Adler Planetarium in Downtown Chicago. Joe is usually joined by his fellow CA members who bring along a vast assortment of optical tools for prying celestial treasures out of the light-polluted skies of the urban metro area. The CA outreach events are free and open to everyone. Passers-by are encouraged to take a peek at the cosmos and have their questions answered by any number of CA astronomers and support staff. More likely than not, you'll also have your picture taken with the famed Chicago Astronomer and "The Beast." So, be sure to smile!
CA Joe and his crew (Paulie, Patrick, Bill, Steve, Linda, Hillary, Eric, Rich, Barbara, et al) have been a major inspiration to me (Robb, another proud CA member) and my astronomical pursuits. Always ready and willing to point out the celestial jewels above, answer questions, and talk the night away, the CA crew has been like a family to me. I thank them for their past and continued support of my night sky efforts!