PCC hosts Astronomy Magazine all-day sky-watching party, Feb. 8 - The Explorer: Liven Up

PCC hosts Astronomy Magazine all-day sky-watching party, Feb. 8

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Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 10:49 am

Astronomy magazine editors return next month to Pima Community College’s East Campus for a special event for amateur astronomers of all ages.

The 2014 Tucson Public Star Party is an all-day sky-watching party 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, at East Campus Observatory. Along with daytime and nighttime viewing, the event will offer illustrated talks and displays on a variety of subjects.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend this family event, which is free and open to the public. Throughout the day, members of the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association will operate several solar telescopes, providing safe, high-quality views of visible features on the Sun. Nighttime observing will begin about an hour after sunset, which is 6:04 p.m.

The campus observatory will be open throughout the event, with its solar telescope following the Sun during the day and its 14-inch telescope targeting deep-sky objects at night. The observatory also is home to the All Sky Camera, which offers a live 360-degree view of the sky.

“We appreciate that Astronomy magazine decided to come back to East Campus for another star party, which is a great way to feature the College’s observatory,” said Nina Corson, East Campus Academic Dean for Department Business Science & Occupation. “Our campus neighbors and families will be able to do hands-on observation, have fun and learn about the universe.”

Among the sky features those attending will be able to view are:

  • The Moon (70-percent-illuminated)
  • Jupiter, approximately 25 degrees east of the Moon in front of the stars of the constellation Gemini the Twins
  • The Pleiades star cluster (M45) viewable at the end of twilight through binoculars and telescopes with a wide field of view
  • The Orion Nebula (M42)

Speakers for the event include Keith Schlottmann, TAAA president, Scott Kardel, president of the International Dark Sky Association, Mike Reynolds, dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Florida State College at Jacksonville and a contributing editor of Astronomy, and Astronomy Editor David J. Eicher.

Approximately 200 people attended the 2013 day-long event, the first that the magazine had held at East Campus.

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