Saturday April 29, 2017
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 prize drawing 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 April 29, 2017

The observatory will open at 1:00 pm for some solar viewing as well as other bright daytime objects. Venus and Mercury will be visible in the early afternoon. The Moon, Mars and Jupiter after sunset.  In the evening we’ll have some of the winter and early spring objects coming into view including the Orion Nebula, Crab nebula, the Sombrero Galaxy, the Whirlpool Galaxy, the Beehive Cluster, the Black Eye Galaxy and Hercules cluster among many others.

Scheduled Speakers

2:30

Speaker: Rebecca & Eric Robinson
Topic: What’s up this Spring

4:00

Speaker: Bob Kerr
Topic: Our Search for Alien Life: How Close Are We?  Our rovers are exploring Mars, and we’ve launched spacecraft to the farthest reaches of the solar system looking for signs of “alien life” – life not of earth.  At the same time, we’re probing distant stars and discovering thousands of strange worlds that have us rethinking the nature of our own planetary system.  So, how close are we to answering the question: are we alone? Let’s talk about that.

5:00

Dinner Break

7:00

Speaker: Michael Kauper
Topic: Astronomy – The Versatile Hobby

8:00

Door Prize Drawing

9:30

Tour of the Sky on the Plaza: We will conduct a laser pointer tour of the constellations from the plaza in front of the Onan Observatory.  (If it is cloudy there will be a presentation in the classroom)

Evening Activities

The evening will continue with viewing through our array of telescopes.



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.