Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3/14 & 3/15: Cheap Astronomy

Cheapness for Pi Day and the Ides of March are on the calendar.


Coit Observatory, at BUWED 3/14

7:30pm to 8:30pm
Astronomy Open Night
at Coit Observatory, 725 Comm Ave*, Boston (BU campus)

Harvard ObservatoryTHUR 3/15

7:30pm to 8:30pm
Observatory Night: "Happy Anniversary, Henrietta"
at Phillips Auditorium, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St, Cambridge (between Porter Sq and Fresh Pond)

The forecast doesn't bode well for optimal gazing at heavenly bodies over the next 2 nights, but Venus and Jupiter (and Mars in the other direction) are looking rather bright at the moment.

They're visible by the naked eye, but it might be more interesting with a good telescope -- and someone to point it for you. Since they're all in the solar system, the detail should be rather good.

BU and Harvard have monthly observatory nights, and it seems they don't mind that students are on Spring Break at both schools.

This type of celestial activity often brings out the more of the general public, however the crowd will likely have fewer students.

It all depends on *IF* the clouds cooperate tonight and/or tomorrow.

The Coit Observatory at BU has a Twitter account to let you know if "systems are a go". At Harvard, there is usually a lecture whether or not sky conditions are right. For example, Henrietta Leavitt was a Harvard astronomer whose work 100 years ago is still the basis on how we measure distances and ages of stars

* The stairwell to the Coit Observatory is "on the fifth floor right next to room 520."

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