One of the best ways to enjoy astronomy is to share your interest and knowledge with others. And next week, from April 2-5, you’ll get perhaps the best chance of your lifetime to do just that during an international event called “100 Hours of Astronomy”, a key event that’s part of the International Year of Astronomy.
• The 100 Hours of Astronomy (100HA) project is an international astronomy extravanganza that will consist of public outreach, live observatory webcasts, and thousands of sidewalk astronomy events during the 100 hours that starts with local nightfall on April 2.
• The main goal of 100HA is to have as many people as possible look through a telescope, just like Galileo did 400 years ago. This moment of personal discovery of the wonders of the night sky is called a “Galileo moment”.
• The 100HA was scheduled to coincide with the the Moon at first quarter and gibbous phase, and with Saturn primed for viewing in the early April sky. These are ideal targets for sidewalk astronomy.
• If you want to get involved, or if you’re a complete beginner and want to learn more and get a look through a telescope, find out what’s going on in your part of the world at www.100hoursofastronomy.org
A Deeper Look
• A particularly interesting international event is called “Around the World in 80 Telescopes”, which is a unique live 24-hour webcast from some of the most advanced observatories both on and off the planet. You’ll learn about the research of professional astronomers at observatories in your country and around the world in the areas of galactic astronomy, extrasolar planets, radio astronomy, and even solar observing. You can watch it at 100HA channel on Ustream.tv.
Good To Know
The folks at Universe Today have live images from an Australia-based telescope.
And our friends at LightBuckets have partnered with a group that’s organizing 100 Hours of Remote Astronomy. LightBuckets will give you 30 minutes of telescope time on either their 24-inch scope in New Mexico or their 14.5-inch scope in Australia. That’s enough time to take a couple of good black and white images of deep-sky objects in the opposite part of the sky from where you live.
I hope to grab an image of the famed Jewel Box cluster in the Southern Cross. And you southerners might try an image of a northern-hemisphere galaxy like M81 or a star cluster like M13. You won’t get Hubble quality, but hey… how often can you use a pro-level telescope to take an image of something you can’t otherwise see? It’s free, so give it a try…
An international astronomy party! Does life get any better than this? Please… get out there an participate if you can.