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Utahns invited to celebrate Astronomy Week

Published April 16, 2013 2:59 pm

Celebration • Star parties, hands-on activities highlight the week's events.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utahns are invited to spend the week celebrating the cosmos.

The Salt Lake Astronomical Society, comprised of amateur astronomers, is hosting a slew of activities to excite people about the stars.

"People have always tried to understand where we came from and what our place is relative to the rest of reality, and they find answers through religion, philosophy and science," said SLAS Vice President Joe Bauman. "In my opinion, astronomy is one of the most visceral ways to experience some of the answers to these questions."

The club received a Salt Lake County grant from the Zoo, Arts and Parks program and is "especially interested in reaching out to the public to mark the week," he said.

The celebration culminates Saturday with Astronomy Day at the Clark Planetarium.

A planned Friday night star party and Saturday daytime sun party may be impeded by clouds as a fast-moving storm looks likely to move in shortly after dusk Friday and linger through Saturday afternoon, said Glen Merrill, forecaster for the National Weather Service.

"Saturday night looks to be clearing off from the west," Merrill said.

That should allow people to look at distant galaxies and nearby planets through telescopes set up at the Stansbury Park Observatory Complex that night.

"It's an immediate, visual, in-your-face fact that we are part of this gigantic universe and there's a huge amount of beauty out there," Bauman said. "It makes me humbled and appreciative of our wonderful creation."

smcfarland@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sheena5427 —

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Wednesday, April 17

What • Zheng Zheng, assistant professor in the University of Utah Department of Physics and Astronomy, will give the free presentation "Cosmology, Large-Scale Structure and Galaxy Clustering."

When & where • 7 p.m. at the U.'s Warnock Engineering Building, Room 105.

Friday, April 19

What • The Salt Lake Astronomical Society's amateur sun astronomers will set up telescopes to view our nearest star.

When & where • Noon to 3 p.m., Natural History Museum of Utah's Canyon Deck, 301 Wakara Way

What • The society will host a free public star party.

When & where • Harmons, 7755 S. 700 East, Midvale, from dusk until 11 p.m., weather permitting.

Saturday, April 20

Sun party

What • SLAS's amateur sun astronomers will set up telescopes to view our nearest star.

When & where • Noon to 3 p.m., Natural History Museum of Utah's Canyon Deck, 301 Wakara Way

Astronomy Day at the Clark Planetarium

What • SLAS will be at the Clark Planetarium, 110 S. 400 West, along with planetarium and Utah State University staff beginning at 10:30 a.m., with hands-on demonstrations from 1 to 4 p.m.

Also •The planetarium will host a telescope giveaway.

Also • All dome shows will be $3 through the 8 p.m. show

Star party

What • SLAS will hold a public star party

When & where • Stansbury Park Observatory Complex from dusk to 11 p.m., weather permitting. View a map at http://www.slas.us.