Saturday May 10, 2014
Eagle Lake Observatory at Baylor Regional Park

10775 County Rd 33, Norwood Young America, MN


The Minnesota Astronomical Society would like to invite you to attend the Astronomical League’s Astronomy Day activities at the Eagle Lake Observatory in Baylor Regional Park. Speakers are scheduled throughout the day and will give talks on astronomy and what there is to see. Door and raffle prize drawings will be held Saturday evening and include MAS merchandise, astronomy books and telescopes. Weather permitting, the evening will conclude with tours of the night sky and of course stargazing.
Schedule of Events

Saturday May 10, 2014
1:00 Daytime Activities beginning at 1:00 pm Solar observation, daytime viewing of Venus (before 4:30 pm), the Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Mars.

Scheduled Speakers

2:30 Merle Hiltner
Topic: Tour the Eagle Lake Observatory.
From concept to construction, learn about the new equipment and facilities at the MAS’s premier public outreach facility.
3:30 Bill Arden
Topic: The Star we live by. With all our talk about stars, it’s time to take a close look at the one that’s really the closest – our Sun. Much of what we know about the way stars work has been learned by studying the star we live by. We’ll talk about the Sun’s place in the Solar System, how we observe the Sun, what we see when we look, and what’s going on beneath the surface.
4:30 Bob Kerr
Topic: Mystery Moons of the Solar System. So far, we’ve discovered 175 moons orbiting the planets of our solar system. They’re all sizes, and eighteen, including earth’s moon, are large enough to be considered planets. Many show curious surface features and unexpected geology like geysers, volcanoes, and lakes. We’ll talk more about these mystery moons, and you can see some of them in tonight’s sky through the observatory telescopes, weather permitting.
5:30 Dinner Break
7:00 Sarah Komperud and Parke Kunkle
Topic: Cosmic Zoom with the Bell Museum and Planetarium . Status report on the new Bell Museum and Planetarium followed by a virtual trip to the edge of the Universe and back.
8:00 Door Prize Drawing
8:30 Raffle Prize Drawing
10:00 Ron Schmit will be giving a laser guided constellation tour of the night sky (weather permitting)
Evening Activities
The evening will continue with viewing through our array of telescopes. Mercury, Jupiter, the Moon, Mars and Saturn will top the list of astronomical delights.


Eagle Lake Observatory
Consisting of the Onan Observatory, the Sylvia A. Casby Observatory and the HotSpot Classroom, the MAS’ Eagle Lake Observatory is the regions premier all-volunteer public observing facility.

  • Two observatories with more than a dozen of the finest amateur telescopes available to view through.
  • Real-time video viewing capabilities for lunar, planetary and deep-sky viewing.
  • Solar filters allow safe viewing of the Sun’s surface, sunspots and solar prominences.
  • Mounted 15×80 binoculars for the ultimate “wide-field” stargazing experience.
  • A heated classroom to take the chill out of the cool spring nights.
  • Electrical outlets on the outside of the buildings for those who bring their own scopes.
  • Paved handicap parking adjacent to the wheelchair accessible observatory.
Location
Baylor Regional Park is roughly 25 miles southwest of the Eden Prairie, MN and just north of Norwood-Young America. It is easily reached either by Minnesota Highway 5 or U.S. Highway 212. Click HERE for interactive map.


Astronomy Day
The theme of Astronomy Day is “Bringing Astronomy to the People”. This worldwide event invites astronomical societies, planetariums, museums, and observatories to sponsor public viewing sessions, presentations, workshops, and other activities to increase public awareness about astronomy and our wonderful universe.

Astronomy Day was born in California in 1973. Doug Berger, then president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California, decided that rather than try to entice people to travel long distances to visit observatory open houses, they would set up telescopes closer to where the people were – busy locations – urban locations like street corners, shopping malls, parks, etc.

His strategy paid off. Not only did Astronomy Day go over with a bang, not only did the public find out about the astronomy club, they found out about future observatory open houses. Since the public got a chance to look through a portable telescope, they were hooked. They then wanted to see what went on at the bigger telescopes, so they turned out in droves at the next observatory open house.