Acadia Night Sky Festival at Jackson Laboratory

Acadia Night Sky Festival at Jackson Laboratory

Saturday, Sep 23, 2017 at 10:30am


Schedule of Events:

10:30 AM - 1:00 PM: Celebration of the Sun

Join regional amateur astronomers and Acadia National Park rangers for safe solar viewing through a variety of specially equipped telescopes.In addition to optical telescopes, this year there will be a demonstration of solar radio astronomy equipment. In the event of rain, demonstrations of safe solar viewing equipment will happen indoors.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: "Curiosity Rover on Mars" with Daniel Krysak

The Mars Curiosity Rover, Gale Crater, Mars
Since landing in Mars' Gale crater in August 2012, the Curiosity Rover has imaged many fascinating features during its traverse.  This is an in-depth look at the various cameras on board the spacecraft and the different functionality each one provides us as scientists.  Included will be images we've acquired throughout the mission, as well as a typical day working with the spacecraft.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: "Placing Humans on Mars" with Astro VIP Jon Thomas

After more than 40 years since the missions to the Moon ended, many believe that it is time for another great human adventure, this time one that would place humans on Mars.  It is the logical choice.  It could very well unlock the secret of life in the universe and humanity must eventually establish itself on other worlds for its preservation.  Any volunteers?  You might want to listen to this talk first, since it explores the hazards and obstacles that will face astronauts as they journey to, explore and return from the red planet.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: "The Sputnik Years" with J. Kelly Beatty

When a Russian rocket lofted Sputnik 1 into orbit on October 4, 1957, the worldwide reaction was a mixture of awe and apprehension. The Space Age — and the Space Race — had begun. To an American public that had grown accustomed to our country’s growing global primacy, Sputnik’s launch was a traumatic wake-up call. This retrospective will explore the events leading up to Sputnik's launch, the political fallout that led to America's response (Explorer 1), the formation of NASA, and the crucial role that amateur astronomers played in tracking the first satellites.

J. Kelly Beatty has been explaining the science and wonder of astronomy to the public since 1974. An award-winning writer and communicator, he specializes in planetary science and space exploration as Senior Editor for Sky & Telescope magazine. Beatty enjoys sharing his passion for astronomy with a wide spectrum of audiences, from children to professional astronomers, and you'll occasionally hear his interviews and guest commentaries on National Public Radio and The Weather Channel. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Dark-Sky Association.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: "A Remote Mirror Pool" with Edward Gleason

North America's least well known planetarium manager discusses the dark arts of public astronomical education.   Every day, people of all ages wander into our cosmic confection shop seeking answers about the Universe: questions such as "What is that obnoxiously bright thing rising in the east each morning?" to  "How do we reconcile quantum theory with general relativity?" 

During this talk, the planetarium manager talks about the philosophy of planetarium: why do we exist? What role do we fulfill? And, are we a benevolent or malignant force in our communities.