Our Fair Weathered Sky Creates Jolts of Excitement

Screen-Shot-2013-10-14-at-11_54_42-AM-300x168“We want more people to become aware of what’s in our night sky, what really interesting things there are to see up there, and what potentially is lost if light pollution is left unchecked,” says UCF Physics Professor, Dr. Yan Fernandez.

“And Dr. Fernandez did just that, along with several other members of the Physics Department, hosting an International Observe the Moon Night on October 12, 2013.

The team’s initiative, was to showcase various thing in the Solar System and educate the public of what’s really up there. The team was determined to make their findings present, not only for the Physics Department, but to the UCF community.

The event went on for three hours, with nearly 100 people stopping by to observe the solar system.

Through the use of a camera, a projector and three telescopes, the team was able to zoom in to view a piece of the Moon and describe specific features to the observers.

But it didn’t stop there.

The astronomers also made it possible to see the planet Venus, as well as sunspots on the Sun, “which drew some oohs and ahhs,” Fernandez recalls.

The team also had activities in place for the younger minds, which included color-in drawings of planets and the Moon, as well as some temporary tattoos of the planets in our solar system.

“We want to make more people aware of the astronomy that is being done here at UCF, and that we have a very nice Observatory, Robinson Observatory, right here on campus at which we host weekly public events,” says Fernandez.

The success of the event proved to be motivation for Fernandez and his team to make this an annual event.  Fernandez says, “It’s just a matter of having the clouds on a particular night cooperate!”

Images used with permission from Sonia H. Stephens.




Comments are closed.