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12th annual Starry Nights Festival September, 2008
By: Matthew Ota | Source: Town of Yucca Valley, California
August 22, 2007 5:34PM PDT
Views: 8126


It is time once again for the Starry Nights Festival in the high desert. This event, sponsored by the town of Yucca Valley and the local
Andromeda Astronomy Club, is a great way to enjoy a dark sky site and the fellowship of amateur astronomers in a friendly desert town with clear, crisp desert air.

As in past years, there are no admission fees for the festival.

Friday afternoon and evening events:

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Lighting Conference
5:00 p.m. Art Opening, Sky Beyond the Sun: Imagining the Universe; Watercolors by Martha Jacobson
7:30 p.m.—10:00 p.m. Stargazing at Machris Park, A free shuttle bus will take spectators from the city community center to the park.

You can choose to bring your telescope to Machris Park, but be aware that the Star Parties, unlike our OCA Anza Star parties, are actually
astronomy outreach events. You will experience the pleasure of sharing your telescope with the busloads of local citizens that will be
coming into the park. In past years teenage volunteers have helped in setup and they run a nice concession stand. All of the park's
lights are turned off, too, to ensure dark skies. If you have never done outreach before, you can learn the ropes from David Levy himself,
and other astronomers with years of experience at astronomy outreach.

Saturday Afternoon's events focus at the High Desert Nature Museum and the Town of Yucca Valley Community Center.

12:30 p.m. WRAL annual meeting
1:00 p.m. Wayne Johnson a.k.a Mr. Galaxy (former OCA President) “Schmoozing with Supernovae”
2:00 pm. Astrogeologist Gary Peterson “Meteorites and other Space Debris”
3:00 p.m. Wally Pacholka, OCA's most famous astroimager “America the Beautiful at Night”
4:00 p.m. Dennis Mammana “Seven Wonders of the Cosmos”

From 1:00 pm through 4:30 pm, solar telescopes will be set up in the courtyard for viewing the sun in both visible light (photosphere)
and in Hydrogen Alpha (chromosphere).

5:00 p.m. Andromeda Society Raffle - Cool prizes, ranging from telescopes to free dinners in town!

5:30 p.m. the Keynote Speaker David Levy, arguably the most famous amateur astronomer of our times,

6:30 p.m. Twilight Reception at Hi-Desert Nature Museum; socialize with your amateur astronomer peers from all over the Southwest

7:30 p.m.—10:00 p.m. Stargazing at Machris Park, Free shuttle for viewers from the Community Center

From an observing standpoint, you will be amazed at what you will see in the high and dry desert skies. The light pollution is minimal,
and you will be able to see many DSOs at double the magnification that you use at our club sites .

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