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Observatory Public Night Thursday, June 24th 2010 In Estes Park

 “Outdoor Lighting and the Night Sky” is the subject of this month’s Estes Valley Astronomical Society (EVAS) meeting.  EVAS in conjunction with The Estes Park Memorial Observatory is offering a free public open house/star night on Thursday June 24th, 2010.

Our guest speaker this month is Dr. Andrea Schweitzer, an astronomer and board member of the Little Thompson Observatory in Berthoud. She was also the U.S. project manager for the International Year of Astronomy 2009, and received her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin. She helped test one of the cameras for the Hubble Space Telescope, and her research has been written up in publications ranging from the New York Times to Sky & Telescope Magazine. Andrea works from Fort Collins as a project management consultant for NASA and for astronomy education.

Good-quality outdoor lighting saves energy, improves public safety, and is good business. Also, it helps to protect the dark skies above Colorado, which leads to the joy of stargazing, as well as the health of wild animal populations and likely public health through better sleep. Andrea worked with the Little Thompson Observatory and the Berthoud Town Council to develop and approve the Berthoud outdoor lighting ordinance in 2008.

The observatory is just north of the high school at 1600 Manford Ave. The doors will open at 7:00 p.m. and the meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. The presentation with a question and answer period lasts about an hour. After the presentation, weather permitting, we will look through the 12 inch dome telescope at various celestial objects.

Information about the meeting can be found on the observatory website at:  www.AngelsAbove.Org.

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