Florida's upcoming "Discover the Universe" star party

Posted by David Eicher
on Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome to Friday! Let’s hope that none of us is hit by pieces of an infalling satellite today. I want to let you know about a major star party event coming in 2 weeks that is being put on by Astronomy magazine Contributing Editor Mike Reynolds and his team of folks at Florida State College. Sponsored by the Astronomy Foundation (of which Mike is a director), Astronomy magazine, Explore Scientific, Florida State College, and the Northeast Florida Astronomical Society, the event will take place October 7 and 8, 2011, on the Kent Campus of Florida State College, 3939 Roosevelt Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida.

Credit: Astronomy Foundation
Organizers sent thousands of notifications out to the public, to enthusiasts, and to college students, so the attendance is expected to be impressive, with many telescopes on hand for viewing. Activities for kids will include a STARLAB portable planetarium, a telescope clinic, and other features. Actor Robert Dawson will be on hand, portraying Galileo Galilei, and many talks will be given throughout both days. Astronomy Senior Editor Michael Bakich will describe the magazine and the publication process as well as new developments in understanding the universe. Scott Roberts of Explore Scientific will provide an overview of telescopes for today’s astronomy. Tippy D’Auria, founder of the Winter Star Party, will talk about astronomy’s frustrations and rewards.

Several academics will deliver astronomy talks, as well. Barbara Harris will speak about the American Association of Variable Star Observers. Jay Huebner will talk about the potential colonization of space. Greg Dietrich will talk about mathematics and astronomy. Jim Stittsworth will speak on the possibilities of life in the universe.

It will be a spectacular star party event with an enormous attendance, and if you’re anywhere in the area, I encourage you to attend and to help spread the joy of celebrating the universe and introducing astronomy to others.

For a PDF of the event brochure, go to www.astrogators.net/2011_Discover_The_Universe_flyer.pdf.


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