Community Star Party

Community Star Party

Join us again after the Annular Eclipse for an evening under the stars with constellation tours and telescope viewing of the moon with local dark sky educators.

Before full-dark, there will be two presentations: 

Gilbert A. Esquerdo (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)Astronomer and telescope operator at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, located south of Tucson, AZTitle: "Kepler, TESS and the search for other worlds”

Summary: Thirty years ago, there were no known planets orbiting stars other than the sun.  In that time, over 5000 exoplanets have been confirmed with over 10,000 candidates still requiring additional study before they are added to the list of known worlds.  This talk will give a brief history of exoplanet study with details on how they are found with a focus on the Kepler and TESS spacecraft missions.  This will conclude with a discussion on what can be learned about these planets and how astronomers are able study the details of these faraway worlds.And for my second talk:

Title: “The Lost Constellations"

Summary: Most stargazers first become acquainted with the night sky by finding constellations, groups of bright stars marking patterns in the night sky identified by humans over thousands of years. Astronomers agreed upon a set of 88 “official" constellations in 1928, drawn almost entirely from Western cultural sources, whose figures and boundaries are found on star charts to this day. Many more constellations, in circulation between antiquity and the beginning of the 20th century, were discarded during this process. This presentation reviews the history of naming constellations before the 20th century and the process that led to proclaiming a canon of modern constellations, including many examples of those figures that fell by the wayside. I will provide historical context for the decisions leading to the canon and explain what the ‘lost’ constellations teach us about human nature and the appreciation of astronomy as both art and science.

This event will be outdoors, so make sure to bring layers and a chair.

Event Information

Event Date 10-14-2023 8:00 pm
Event End Date 10-14-2023 10:00 pm