telescope

Stargazing with 4-H!

Free!

Friday, November 12, 2021
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Twitchell Observatory Field
64 Roberts Road, South Paris, ME 04281

The volunteers who support events at the observatory will set up telescopes in the field near the observatory to view the wonders of the heavens on November 12th, with a cloud date of the 13th. These telescopes will provide views of the moon, planets and stars as good as the scope in the observatory. This event is open to youth of all ages!

Beginning at 5:30 PM, the scopes will be aimed at the moon to see its craters, mountains and “seas.” Next will be Jupiter with its four bright moons and Saturn featuring the lovely rings. Then we will view Neptune, now the most distant planet since Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet. (I know you are probably not happy about that, but at the event, our experts can tell you why it has to be.)  Because Neptune is three times farther away than Saturn, it will be tiny in the eyepieces, but we will be able to tell it is a planet and not a star.

With the moon in the sky, we will be able to look at only a few of the things that are beyond our solar system.  Double stars are one of those things. They will be represented by two of the prettiest contrasting-colored stars (stars appear different colors due to temperature). Many stars that appear to be one are actually two and can be seen in a telescope. One of the stars is Albireo which is located at the bottom of the Northern Cross in the constellation Cygnus the Swan and it takes 430 years for the light from Albireo to reach us, compared to 1.3 hours from Saturn!  The other double star is Almach in the constellation Andromeda, which is about the same distance as Albireo. We won’t tell you the colors of the stars so that you can decide for yourself.

Beyond the double stars, there are star clusters, gaseous nebulae in the Milky Way, our galaxy, and then galaxies beyond the Milky Way, all known as deep sky objects. One object that will be partially visible through the moon’s light is the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest large galaxy to the Milky Way. Like our Milky Way, it is made up of hundreds of billions of stars, but at a distance of 2.5 million light years (how long it takes the light to reach us!), individual stars cannot be seen and their light is blended into a glowing cloud.

We plan to have one of these observing events every season, this being a fall one.  If it is cloudy both nights, we will have to wait until winter for hopefully the next one.  In the future, when COVID is no longer a threat, if it is cloudy on the second night, we will have a PowerPoint presentation covering what we could have seen and astronomy in general. Even better, we will be able to open the observatory.

Please register no later than November 5th, so we can plan materials, space is limited.

We hope you will make plans to join us!

Email rebecca.mosley@maine.edu with questions.

The University consistently seeks to take steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections (or any other spread of disease) in accordance with applicable law, regulation, and guidance provided by health authorities. These efforts may include policies and safeguards implemented by the University such as symptom checks, social distancing, use of facial coverings, and isolating and quarantining when required. Despite these efforts, the University cannot categorically guarantee that any person entering University campuses or facilities will not contract COVID-19 or any other communicable disease and any such person must assess and accept the risks of illness or injury for themselves. 

 

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Program Description

Friday, November 12, 2021
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Twitchell Observatory Field
64 Roberts Road, South Paris, ME 04281

The volunteers who support events at the observatory will set up telescopes in the field near the observatory to view the wonders of the heavens on November 12th, with a cloud date of the 13th. These telescopes will provide views of the moon, planets and stars as good as the scope in the observatory. This event is open to youth of all ages!

Beginning at 5:30 PM, the scopes will be aimed at the moon to see its craters, mountains and “seas.” Next will be Jupiter with its four bright moons and Saturn featuring the lovely rings. Then we will view Neptune, now the most distant planet since Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet. (I know you are probably not happy about that, but at the event, our experts can tell you why it has to be.)  Because Neptune is three times farther away than Saturn, it will be tiny in the eyepieces, but we will be able to tell it is a planet and not a star.

With the moon in the sky, we will be able to look at only a few of the things that are beyond our solar system.  Double stars are one of those things. They will be represented by two of the prettiest contrasting-colored stars (stars appear different colors due to temperature). Many stars that appear to be one are actually two and can be seen in a telescope. One of the stars is Albireo which is located at the bottom of the Northern Cross in the constellation Cygnus the Swan and it takes 430 years for the light from Albireo to reach us, compared to 1.3 hours from Saturn!  The other double star is Almach in the constellation Andromeda, which is about the same distance as Albireo. We won’t tell you the colors of the stars so that you can decide for yourself.

Beyond the double stars, there are star clusters, gaseous nebulae in the Milky Way, our galaxy, and then galaxies beyond the Milky Way, all known as deep sky objects. One object that will be partially visible through the moon’s light is the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest large galaxy to the Milky Way. Like our Milky Way, it is made up of hundreds of billions of stars, but at a distance of 2.5 million light years (how long it takes the light to reach us!), individual stars cannot be seen and their light is blended into a glowing cloud.

We plan to have one of these observing events every season, this being a fall one.  If it is cloudy both nights, we will have to wait until winter for hopefully the next one.  In the future, when COVID is no longer a threat, if it is cloudy on the second night, we will have a PowerPoint presentation covering what we could have seen and astronomy in general. Even better, we will be able to open the observatory.

Please register no later than November 5th, so we can plan materials, space is limited.

We hope you will make plans to join us!
Email rebecca.mosley@maine.edu with questions.

If you are a person with a disability and need accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Sara King at sara.king@maine.edu or 207.743.6329 or 1.800.287.1482 (in Maine) to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however, all requests will be considered.

The University consistently seeks to take steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections (or any other spread of disease) in accordance with applicable law, regulation, and guidance provided by health authorities. These efforts may include policies and safeguards implemented by the University such as symptom checks, social distancing, use of facial coverings, and isolating and quarantining when required. Despite these efforts, the University cannot categorically guarantee that any person entering University campuses or facilities will not contract COVID-19 or any other communicable disease and any such person must assess and accept the risks of illness or injury for themselves. 

Program Details

Date

Friday, November 12, 2021; raindate Saturday, November 13, 2021

Time

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Location

Twitchell Observatory Field, 64 Roberts Road, South Paris, ME 04281

Contact Name

Sara King

Contact Email

sara.king@maine.edu

Contact Phone

207-743-6329

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