Astronomy Night & the Portable Planetarium
The community is invited to an interactive, engaging program on astronomy. University of Washington graduate students from the Department of Astronomy will lead a science-based experience to discover more about the skies above. They’re bringing their mobile planetarium to Forks to provide a close-up view of the night sky. They will also be bringing a telescope and have other activities. Two programs will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10th with a family focused program to be held from 1-3 p.m., with a later program for adults from 7-9 p.m. Both afternoon and evening programs will be in the Hemlock Forest Room.
The planetarium shows are about 20 minutes long so groups of people can cycle through the performances or come back in for a repeat viewing! In addition to the planetarium show there will be other activities including a Power-Point presentation and the use of a telescope. The afternoon session will include kid-focused presentations and activities, while the evening session will include more in-depth presentations.
The presenters are Rodrigo Luger, John Lurie, Margaret Lazzarini, Phoebe Sanderbeck, and Diana Windemuth. All of these students volunteer their time to put on this great effort for our community. Mr. Luger is a fifth year PHD student searching for planets around other stars and trying to understand whether or not they may be habitable. Mr. Lurie is a fourth year graduate student interested in binary star systems and the structure of the Milky Way. Ms. Lazzarini is a second year PHD student at the University focusing on high energy astronomy, currently working to categorize the X-ray source population in Andromeda. Ms. Sanderbeck is a fifth year PHD student whose research forces on the physics of the early universe. Ms. Windemuth is a fourth year graduate student working on detecting and characterizing extrasolar planets orbiting binary stars.
The planetarium’s dome, created by the company Go-Dome, is an inflatable room resembling an igloo. At approximately 10 feet high and 20 feet across, the dome can fit about two dozen viewers. It is a fully functional planetarium that offers many of the same images as the high-tech planetarium located on university campus. The planetarium runs Microsoft Research’s World Wide Telescope software on a laptop computer. A large hemispherical mirror projects the high density image from the back of the dome across three-quarters of its interior. The planetarium brings modern astronomy down from space and into the schools and community, providing viewers an immersive experience of the Universe.
Refreshments will be served and potluck of your favorite desert encouraged.
The event is sponsored by UW
ONRC’s Rosmond Education Fund.