../Morning Post
Posted October 20, 2009
Final Frontier

Waterloo marks International Year of Astronomy with star-gazing party

Takes place at the North Campus Soccer Pitch.

WATERLOO - The University of Waterloo is inviting members of the public to help celebrate International Year of Astronomy 2009 with a star-gazing party on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The star-gazing party will run from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. and offer visitors of all ages a chance to explore the night sky with telescopes and star charts. If weather permits, attendees will first be able to observe Jupiter and its moons as well as star clusters and distant galaxies. Later in the evening, they may see Orionid meteors, part of an annual meteor shower, and a spectacular nebula in the heart of the Orion constellation.

"We're very excited to host to this popular event again," said Michael Balogh, associate professor in the department of physics and astronomy. "During our last star gazing party we had nearly 300 people come out to join us."

The free event will include a narrated astronomy slide show, along with various displays and hands-on experiments. In addition, all attendees can enter a raffle for a chance to win one of several Galileoscopes, an easy-to assemble telescope that allows users to see what Galielo first glimpsed 400 years ago.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA 2009) is intended to stimulate global interest not only in astronomy, but science in general. IYA 2009 is a world-wide celebration of astronomy's contributions to society and culture, with a particular focus on young people.

The star-gazing party is organized by Waterloo's department of physics and astronomy. The university and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will provide the telescopes.

Light refreshments will be provided, and free parking will be available at Open Text, in the Research and Technology Park on the university's north campus. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly, and bring their own chair and blankets if desired.

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