12 March 2010

Get Involved: Chart the Skies, Hear a Lecture, Attend a Star Party

There are many ways to take your interest in astronomy up a notch. Here are a few things that are sure to enhance your interest and knowledge of the skies.

Globe at Night: I am a big fan of this annual project, one that combines astronomy with awareness of light pollution and is also a global participation project. Go outside tonight and look up at Orion, then report what you see at the Globe at Night website. It only will take a few minutes but it will change how you see the sky at night. I am certain about this one.

Lecture: Each month the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers hold their meeting at the Randall Museum in San Francisco. The meetings are open to the public and feature a speaker on a topic of interest in astronomy. This month the meeting takes place on March 17th and features Andrew Pohorille from NASA Ames Research Center for a presentation on "The Origins of Life in the Universe."

California Academy of Sciences Nightlife: Every Thursday the Cal Academy stays open late for a fun, festive evening with music, drinks and science. When the skies are clear you can stargaze and look up close at the universe through telescopes on the Living Roof. And this week, on Thursday March 18, I'll again be a guest at NightLife giving a talk about the Night Sky and laser-guided star tours on the roof. I hope to see you there. (note: must be at least 21 years of age)

Star Parties: The San Francisco Amateur Astronomers host monthly star parties at Lands End in San Francisco, weather permitting. The next on is on Sunday March 21st. And on April 17th the Mount Tamalpais lecture series and star parties return. These are an excellent combination with lectures at the Mountain Theater and star gazing in a dark setting atop Mt. Tam. You won't be disappointed -- even when it is foggy in San Francisco it is generally clear and dark on Mt. Tam.

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