23 October 2011

Moonlighting

posted by Staff Writer

The following contribution is courtesy of Buster Schmidt from the College of Science and Mathematics.

telescope

Observe the Moon Night is an international event that you might not have heard about. Darrell Heath, assistant lab animal technician in UALR’s Department of Biology, decided to do something about that and organized central Arkansas’s celebration of Earth’s only natural satellite.

Heath, also a volunteer with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Solar System Ambassador program, planned Little Rock’s Observe the Moon Night at Riverfront Amphitheater so that participants could get a better look at the moon through telescopes provided by UALR physics and astronomy students and faculty.

The observation followed a day of activities at the River Market, including a free showing of Ron Howard’s documentary of NASA’s Apollo Program, “In the Shadow of the Moon,” at 1 p.m. at Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center, a lecture about “black holes” by Dr. Marc Seigar of UALR’s Physics and Astronomy Dept., and a 5 p.m “solar system walk” through Riverfront Park. Led by Dr. Tony Hall, chair of UALR’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, the walk was designed to illustrate the real scale of Earth’s small portion within the Milky Way Galaxy.

International Observe The Moon Night was first established last year and “consists of scientists, educators, and moon enthusiasts from government, non-profit organizations, and businesses throughout the United States and across the globe.

“International Observe the Moon Night has created the opportunity for people to take notice of the moon’s beauty and share that experience with one another,” Heath said. “Through International Observe the Moon Night, we hope to instill in the public a sense of wonderment and curiosity about our moon… a celestial body that has influenced human lives since the dawn of time.”

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Viewers checking out the setting sun through high-powered telescopes with strong filters. Viewing the sun without proper protection will damage your eyes.

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Setting up the telescope for checking out the moon.

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The moon is observed by a variety of viewers. The kids loved it!!

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Dr. Tony Hall details the moon’s surface features with viewers.

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A Sun Spotter…the safe way to view sun spots.

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Darrell Heath (organizer) talks about the observance of the moon.

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It was a family affair. Most of the viewers at the moon observance day were families.

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Brandon Schmidt catches the last few rays of the day’s sun.

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Dr. Tony Hall brings up a Russian meteorite for the audience.

One Response to “Moonlighting”

  1. Kassie Brent says:

    Oh wow! this was a fun and interesting activity.

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