Monday, May 10, 2010

Double Your Astronomy Fun at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area

Hobbs State Park is offering a hands-on Astronomy/Solar System workshop, Saturday, May 15th at 5:30 PM. at the park’s visitor center. Participants will 1) build full-scale working models of the telescope used by Galileo 400 years ago, 2) learn scientific investigation principles by doing science experiments, 3) discover patterns in the night sky in the IMPACTS traveling planetarium. If weather permits, participants will use their telescopes to view Saturn and Mars. Each participant (or team) will take home their high-quality Galileo optical telescope, a NASA Solar System and Astronomy Workshop Completion Certificate, solar system lithographs, posters, and postcards. Cost: $35 per team or per telescope. Teams may include teacher/student, parent/child, two students/adults, or single individuals desiring their own telescope. Suggested age 10 and up. Workshop space is limited. Contact the park office to reserve your spot: 479-789-5000
At 7:45 p.m., also Saturday May 15tth at the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center, the Sugar Creek Astronomy Society will present a Beginners Astronomy Class at 7:45 p.m. Observations using binoculars, telescopes and the naked eye will begin shortly after sunset: around 8:45 PM.
According to the astronomy society’s president, Jack, McDaniel, “This should be a very special night for binocular viewing. Venus again will shine brightly in the west, and on May 15th we will see her close to a crescent moon at twilight. It should be a photogenic moment! Mars will be between the Beehive Cluster (M44) and the star Regulus, located in the constellation Leo.”
“For our telescopes, Saturn will be visible all evening, and the rings will be very visible. During our makeup session last month, we could see Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. This month we should be able to see Titan as well as two or three other moons though our larger telescopes.” “May is the month of galaxies in the constellations Virgo, Ursa Major, Leo, and Coma Berenices (Bernice’s Hair). We should have a lot to look at”. “If the weather does not cooperate, we will have a makeup observing session in June – date to be announced later. The public is invited to participate. The beginner’s Astronomy program and night viewing are free.

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