Jan 2010: Star Party is a Success

The NASA Explorer School Team and the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society hosted another successful Star Party on the evening of Saturday, Jan 30. The rain and clouds that we endured all week finally cleared and at 4:00, the SVAS gave the go-ahead for the party. The astronomers arrived a little before sunset to set up their telescopes. Mars was the only planet visible - Jupiter was too low to see and Saturn wouldn't rise high enough until at least 10:00pm - but the early arrivals had a chance to see Mars before the moon rose. We also had a good view of the Orion Nebula, part of the constellation Orion and a nursery for new stars, and the Andromeda Galaxy, our nearest galactic neighbor and home to a trillion stars, and an absolutely brilliant moon. The NES team served hot chocolate and popcorn while the astronomers shared their expertise with an estimated turn-out of between 150 and 200 students, parents, and siblings.

We want to thank the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society for their support in this activity. We also want to thank Mr. Williams for providing the hot chocolate, Mr. Ishikawa for the stove, Mr. Prince for all his help and everyone who turned out to make this event a success.

To learn more about the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society, visit their website.

Students and parents lined up to look through Pierre's telescope at the Andromeda Galaxy.

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Perry's telescope was pointed at the Orion Nebula.

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Just a few of the estimated 150 or so attendees.

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One of the many families in attendance is taking turns looking at a moon that was so bright it hurt your eyes.

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Packing up at the end of another successful NASA Explorer School Event.

Thank you, again, to the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society and everyone who made it out.

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