2017-2018 Observatory Event Calendar
*All observatory events are FREE and open to the public.
7 p.m. Friday, September 29 – Saturn
The Ringed Planet never fails to amaze and dazzle those who gaze upon it under magnification. While it is not the only planet with a ring system, the bold and easily visible rings that highlight this planet are always a treat to view. In addition, the Cassini mission continues to produce a wealth of information to share not only of Saturn and its rings, but also the many moons orbiting it.
7 p.m. Friday, October 27 – Solar System, Planets and So Much More
In grade school most students learn about our solar system as the Sun and a group of planets. This program will work on taking this idea and expanding on it to give a better representation of what else is in our solar system. As our information on what else is in the Earth’s back yard has changed so too has this caused us to need a better description for all the different objects orbiting our star.
5:30 p.m. Friday, November 17 – Dark Matter/Dark Energy and Night Zip!
Dark matter and dark energy are two topics in astronomy that get used frequently when talking about the big picture of how our universe works. However, it is a poorly understood part of cosmology that is certainly a big puzzle piece for the future of astronomy as a whole. This exciting topic will probe what we know and even more so on what we do not know about the fundamentals of our cosmos.
Bonus Event: Night Zip and Hot Dog Roast
7 p.m. Friday, December 15 – Neutron Stars and Black Holes
In December we will focus on some of the strangest structures in the Cosmos. Neutron stars and black holes are some of the rarest and most complicated stars in our universe, but there are many things we can understand about these impressive objects.
7 p.m. Friday, January 26 – Winter Constellations
January signifies winter in our region and a view of the night sky with some of the most well known constellations. This connection between the seasons and the patterns of stars in the sky is a great part of understanding of astronomy that goes back millennia and ultimately is a large part of what makes us human.
7 p.m. Friday, February 23 – Messier Catalog
An 18th century astronomer named Charles Messier made a living finding comets and in doing so made a list of things he knew were NOT comets. Little did he know his list would become the foundation for amateur astronomers as well as changing our understanding about what type of formations are visible in the night sky. Come learn about Messier’s Catalog and how the refining of this historical list has transformed our understanding of the Cosmos.
7 p.m. Friday, March 23 – New Telescopes and Search for Exoplanets
“Bigger is better” seems to be the attitude of telescope construction, but what is driving this push to build bigger and better telescopes? A big part of the race is to actually see a planet beyond our solar system and not just indirectly detect it. Discover how new technology is continuing to push astronomer deeper into space.
7 p.m. Friday, April 20 – Venus
Venus is outshined in the sky by only the Sun and Moon. It is a brilliant object that will be visible in the evening during the spring of 2018. This object is regularly mistaken for a host of different astronomical targets, but is also quite remarkable as a planetary body itself. Venus is often called Earth’s sister planet due to their similarities, although there are some strong differences as well.
7:30 p.m. Friday, May 18 – Jupiter
Jupiter will be a bright target in the night sky from late spring through summer. Come learn how the biggest and most massive of the planets drives many parts of our solar system and how it serves as the standard of comparison for other giant planets both in and outside our local group of planets.