Big “Astronomy” Tucson Star Party fast approaching!

Posted by David Eicher
on Thursday, February 07, 2013

David J. Eicher
On Saturday, February 16, 2013, Astronomy magazine is sponsoring an all-day skywatching party at the East Campus Observatory of Pima Community College (PCC). Activities start at 10 a.m. and continue through 9 p.m.

This event will feature astronomy-based talks, displays, and handouts. Throughout the day, members of the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA) will have telescopes set up with the proper filters to conduct safe solar observing.

Then, as the air cools after sunset, the party will start to heat up as the TAAA turns telescopes toward fascinating cosmic targets. The two 14-inch telescopes in PCC’s observatory will be providing fine celestial views, as well.

In addition to observing the sky, you’ll be able to learn a lot about astronomy by attending talks throughout the day. And what a lineup!

Keith Schlottmann, president of the TAAA, will tell you about the local amateur astronomy scene while Scott Kardel, president of the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), will present “Light Pollution: Perspectives from Earth and Space.” And Astronomy Contributing Editor and meteoriticist Mike Reynolds not only will give an entertaining talk called “Meteorites!” but also will pass around samples of space rocks for you to view.

I will be there to highlight the latest findings in the science, and Senior Editor Michael E. Bakich will discuss things that go “Boom!” in the night.

And there’s more. Several groups will have tabletop displays that discuss various aspects of astronomy and space science. Those that plan to exhibit include the TAAA, the IDA, the University of Arizona’s Mount Lemmon SkyCenter, the Astronomy Foundation, and the Girl Scouts of America. In addition, Reynolds may have some meteorites for sale, and Astronomy will have a table where visitors can pick up a copy of the magazine or the 16-page booklet “How to Buy Your First Telescope.”

So, mark your calendar for February 16, and get ready for a day full of sky views, discovery, and fun. For more information, check out the main event page.

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