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Posted August 8, 2011

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University of Waterloo invites local community to explore the night sky at star-gazing party

WATERLOO - The University of Waterloo is inviting members of the public to participate in a star-gazing party on Friday, Aug. 12.

The free event, which runs from 8:15 p.m. until midnight, features presentations on meteors and astrophysics and offers visitors of all ages a chance to explore the night sky with telescopes and star charts.

Members from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and some of Waterloo’s astronomy faculty and students will also be on hand to answer any questions star-gazers may have.

"Our star-gazing parties give people the chance to look through some telescopes and talk to experts about what they might see," said Michael Balogh, associate professor in the department of physics and astronomy. "We look forward to welcoming the community at this very popular event."

If weather permits, attendees may see the peak of the Perseid meteors, part of an annual meteor shower that is located in the constellation Perseus.

All visitors can enter a raffle for a chance to win one of several Galileoscopes, an easy-to assemble telescope that allows users to see what Galileo first glimpsed more than 400 years ago.

Waterloo’s star gazing party has been held annually since 2009 in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy. In 2009, IYA aimed to stimulate global interest not only in astronomy, but science in general, with world-wide celebrations to pay tribute to astronomy’s contributions to society and culture.

The star-gazing party, organized by the department of physics and astronomy, will be held on the university’s north campus soccer pitch, located off Columbia Street West at Hagey Boulevard. Free parking will be available at Open Text in the David Johnston Research and Technology Park. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets

An RSVP is preferred so guests can be alerted about the status of the event in case of cancellation due to inclement weather. Any wishing to attend should send an email to scienceevents@uwaterloo.ca or phone 519-888-4567 ext. 38804.


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