Astronomy's 2014 Tucson Public Star Party a big success!

Posted by David Eicher
on Sunday, February 09, 2014

Astronomy magazine’s 2014 Tucson Star Party, Pima Community College, East Campus, Tucson, Arizona, February 8, 2014. // all photos by David J. Eicher
On Saturday, February 8, 2014, about 200 astronomy enthusiasts assembled in Tucson, Arizona, for Astronomy magazine’s second annual Tucson Public Star Party, enjoying great views of the night sky. The event was held at Pima Community College’s East Campus, on the southeastern side of the city, which is the “capital” of astronomy in the United States. Partnering with Astronomy and the college were the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA), whose members brought many telescopes to set up for observing.

Astronomy’s Michael Bakich was on hand and served as chief organizer, along with Pima Community College’s Nina Corson, academic dean. Daytime activities included exhibits from such entities as the OSIRIS-REx team from the University of Arizona, the folks who are sending a spacecraft on an asteroid sample return mission. Also on hand was planetary scientist Larry Lebofsky of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, who showed off a great orrery that enabled kids to understand motions in the solar system and a meteorite kit so that people could get their hands on some rocks from space.

Pima Community College’s planetarium, Astronomy magazine’s 2014 Tucson Star Party, Pima Community College, East Campus, Tucson, Arizona, February 8, 2014.
Talks included presentations from Keith Schlottman of the TAAA, Scott Kardel of the IDA, Astronomy Contributing Editor Mike Reynolds, who spoke on asteroids and meteorites, and my talk on comets.

The nighttime observing was really the centerpiece and brought out good numbers of enthusiasts, young and old. The Moon and Jupiter starred, but quite a few people aimed telescopes at a variety of deep-sky objects too.

It was a great day filled with astronomy, and all were joyed by celebrating views of the cosmos!

To see all the photos from the event, visit Astronomy.com's Reader Photo Gallery.

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