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Astronomy program at Upper Newport Bay
Original report by Liam Kennedy - April 27th 2002 - updated August 14th 2002

We were approached by Grace Yick, park ranger for the Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve, to put on an informal Astronomy program at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center over the summer.

I visited their facility on Friday and had a chance to discuss things in greater detail with her and to assess the capabilities of their center for our needs.

In short - I think we have an incredible opportunity to utilize an amazing facility in a way that will benefit both organizations and our local communities.

The center, only two years old, has a medium sized lecture hall (probably seats about 50+ people) and a class-room (seats approx 30+). It also has a number of permanent nature display areas related of course to the Newport By Nature Preserve.

The center is actually willing to put this on at no cost/low cost - especially as I suggested that we would not expect to get any remuneration for our part in this. The centers normal hours are from 10am until 4pm each day and they would be especially opening their center just for us. In view of this we agreed that an "optional" donation would be recommended at $2 per person. I think that would be very fair and reasonable.

Next steps.

Grace wants to have some dates from me for programs in July / August / September. They will place this information into their brochures/ newsletters/ other local advertisements (the OC Register). I will probably commit to some dates and then try to decide what we will do and who will do it later.

UPDATE

The dates for the program at the facility have been set for Friday Aug 16 2002 and Saturday Sep 14 2002. The program will consist of an informal lecture at 7:00pm in their theatre followed by observing from 8:00pm onwards.

The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is located at 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. It is at the corner of University and Irvine Avenue. Call (714) 973 6820 for information.

Below are some photos / images to give you further information....
as usual "click" the image for a larger version

Map to the center.

Building invisible from the road.
The center is built into the hillside and approached by a short path from the free parking area.

The center is a very modern building.

Roof for observing.
The roof of the building would provide a great place for viewing the stars as well as the wildlife!

As would the front of the center.
The center faces due south over the bay.
Display areas.
Several display areas show visitors what the Newport bay is all about.
Multimedia Lecture Theater.
Has 5 large multimedia monitors (for a 7 minute synchronized piece all about the bay). Also has a projector (although capable - it has not been setup to connect to a computer - which Grace will check into if it can be).
Multimedia Lecture Theater (back).
View to the back of the hall.
Classroom (side 1)
This is setup as a very kid/family friendly area (note the tiny chairs for little people).

Classroom (side 2)
These classrooms usually are left open as one unit - but can be split into two independent rooms

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