WSU Invites Community to Virtual Star Party
OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University’s Ott Planetarium is hosting a virtual star party to help people learn about the night sky. The event will be held via Facebook Live from 6-8 p.m. on May 6. People of all ages are encouraged to tune in to the free star gazing event. A link to the live stream will be posted on weber.edu/ottplanetarium.
Hosted by WSU’s physics department, the star parties are usually held at the observatory on the fourth floor of Tracy Hall Science Center. Although COVID-19 has prevented in-person events, the planetarium staff still wanted to share their passion for astronomy with the community.
“With everything going on, we wanted to find a way to help all of the parents and kids learning science at home with something they could do from their own backyards,” said John Armstrong, physics professor. “We want to share with the community our love of astronomy and the experience of gazing at deep-space objects We want to help people learn a little about what they can see and encourage them to keep looking up.”
Held after dark, the events give attendees an opportunity to turn their gaze upward and view different astronomical objects, such as planets and galaxies, in the night sky.
Participants will be able to tune in to the live stream and join a discussion on finding astronomical objects and using sky display software. Planetarium staff will also be on hand to answer questions.
“Astronomy is one of the few sciences where the laboratory is in everyone’s backyard,” Armstrong said. “We want to help people take advantage of the close proximity to areas with very dark skies. Dark skies belong to all of us, and we should all know what is up there.”
If there is enough community interest, planetarium staff hope to hold more virtual star parties in the coming months. For more information about the Ott Planetarium, visit weber.edu/ottplanetarium
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