MAS Astronomy Day 2012
April 28th, 2012

Images shot on April 28th 2012.
Shot with a Nikon D40

(Click on any thumbnail to see a larger 1504x1000 JPEG image)


MAS Astronomy Day 2012
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GOES-East Vis 2012-04-28-1415z

Cloudy MAS Astronomy Day
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MSP Weather Radar

Weather Radar for the Day
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Saturday April 28, 2012
Onan 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 Onan 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 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 April 28, 2012

12:00 Noon: Daytime Activities beginning at noon Solar observation, daytime viewing of the Moon, Venus and maybe Mars.

1:00 "Mad Scientist" activities for the kids - MAS member Colin Kilbane will have a table of scientific experiments and activities to show the kids throughout the day.
Scheduled Speakers
3:00  Merle Hiltner: Welcome to A-Day and "A Tour of the MAS Onan Telescopes" - Learn about the telescopes we have and and how they’re used to show you stars, planets, nebula and galaxies. I'll also answer any questions you have on your own telescopes.
4:00  Roxanne Kuerschner: Weird Objects in the Cosmos - What makes something ''weird''?  Several of the weirdest, oddest, strangest and most fascinating objects in the universe will be introduced to you.  The reason they made the list will also be explained.
5:00  Dinner Break
6:30  Dave Falkner: Partial Solar Eclipse and Transit of Venus - The Onan Observatory will be hosting special events for the partial solar eclipse on May 20th and the Transit of Venus.  We'll discuss the different types of solar eclipses and what to expect on May 20th. We'll also talk about the planet Venus and one of the rarest events in astronomy, the Transit of Venus happening on June 5th.
7:30  Ron Schmit: Robots in Space - Though you would not mistake them for R2 or C3PO, they ARE robots: our intrepid space probes. Setting sail from Earth, this fleet of automatons continues to explore the far reaches of our solar system, sending back never before seen images from the unique vantage point that they provide.  We've had robots visit every planet of the solar, and we even have one on the way for a historic visit to the dwarf planet, Pluto. Get the latest on our robotic reconnaissance of the solar system. There is so much to explore!!
8:30  Door Prize Drawings
9:30  Ron Schmit: LIVE Constellation Tour
Evening Activities
The evening will continue with viewing through our array of telescopes. The Moon, Mars and Saturn will top the list of astronomical delights.


Onan Observatory
The MAS's Onan Observatory, the region's premier all-volunteer public observing facility.
  • More than a dozen telescopes to view through, are among the finest amateur telescopes available.
  • 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 15x80 binoculars for the ultimate “wide-field” stargazing experience.
  • A heated warming room to take the chill out of the cool spring nights.
  • Electrical outlets on the outside of the building 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. Select the "Directions" link in the left hand column or 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.


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Photos by Ben Huset

Last revision 05-01st, 2012
by Ben

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