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Get the Most out of YOUR Stargazing!

Written by Tim Talley

planetarium1.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Department of Physical Sciences is hosting a show titled, "Seeing the Sky--How to Get the Most out of Your Stargazing" at 5:30 p.m. on May 2 in the Robert K. Wickware Planetarium. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            Guests will be shown how to use a planisphere, a device that shows the constellations any time of the night and any time of the year.  They will also learn how to maximize and preserve night vision so they can see the faintest stars. If time allows, the visitors will be shown several simple ways to take pictures of the stars and some of the celestial events that might be visible in the coming months, such as the Perseid meteor shower in August or the Northern Lights.

            Russell Sampson, associate professor of physical sciences and assistant director of the Planetarium, wants guests to learn how to identify constellations, brighter stars and visible planets that are in the night sky. "We will use the star projector to simulate the starry sky and give the visitors a sense of what they can expect to see under the clear eastern Connecticut skies," said Sampson. "We hope our show will give students a better appreciation of the night sky, how to understand it and how to appreciate it. It is one of our greatest natural wonders, but at the same time it is threatened by the spread of artificial lighting.  By educating our students as to the great beauty contained in a pristine night sky, we hope to help preserve this natural resource for future generations to come."

            For reservations or more information contact Zosia Carlquist at (860) 465-4317 or email her at carlquistz@easternct.edu, or Russell Sampson at (860) 465-0188, or email him at sampsonr@easternct.edu. Tickets are free. Seating is limited to 55 available seats. Eastern's Planetarium offers yearly public and private shows. Public star shows are intended for ages 10 and up.

December 2011

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