Night Vision: Observing the Sky as an Astronomer

Robert Bigelow

Many people mistakenly believe that they must own a telescope to get started in astronomy. In reality, there are many astronomical phenomena that are observable with a tool you already own: your eyes. These include stars and constellations and how their appearance changes during the night or from one season to the next; the repeating pattern of the moon’s phases; the yearly change in the height, rise and set points of the Sun; and, the motion of planets against the background stars. All of these astronomical phenomena can be easily experienced by making regular observations of the sky over time.

During this program you will experience examples of what can be observed, learn basic sky terminology, and get a short introduction to an astronomical coordinate system that one science writer has described as “ghost lines in the sky”.

Night Vision: Observing the Sky as an Astronomer is presented by Robert Bigelow on Thursday evening, February 16th, and Saturday evening, February 18th, in the Hansen Dome Theatre at 6:45pm. Tickets available online or at the Clark Planetarium ticket desk. Free for members. PLEASE NOTE: Both the Thursday and Saturday presentations are host to students from the University of Utah Astronomy program; public tickets to these presentations are limited to 40 per evening and it is advisable to secure your tickets in advance.

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