Star Viewing brings astronomy to the Arboretum

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
September 20, 2012

Star Viewing brings astronomy to the Arboretum

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Postponed due to cloudy conditions! Check back for a new date.

Enjoying the diversity of trees at the Arnold Arboretum may compel visitors to look upward into the canopy for a better view. This Saturday evening, the Arboretum invites visitors to look up even farther, as it partners with the Harvard College Observatory and Boston Parks and Recreation to present a public star viewing on Weld Hill.

Kicking off on Saturday, September 22 at 7:00pm, visitors may drop in at the Weld Hill landscape to participate in celestial observations until 9:30pm. Observatory staff and volunteers from the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston will help guide your way around the night sky, with and without the aid of telescopes.

“For many years Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum and the College Observatory have each held numerous programs for the general public,” said Dr. R. Bruce Ward, Senior Research Associate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “This event marks another great step toward expanding our mission of informal science education in Boston. We are pleased to offer a star viewing opportunity on the grounds of one of Boston’s most beautiful sites.”

Located on the Arboretum’s Roslindale border, Weld Hill is the home of the Arboretum’s new research and administration facility. At this site, the star viewing will take advantage of the parcel’s wide open areas to provide unobstructed views of the sky. Weather permitting, observers will be able to explore the face of the moon, search for double stars and nebulae, and perhaps even spot the Andromeda Galaxy.

“The Arboretum is thrilled to work with the Harvard College Observatory and our friends at Boston Parks to share some of the observable phenomena of the night sky with the public,” explained Arboretum Director Dr. William (Ned) Friedman. “Although our work usually focuses on plants and their environments, our commitment to science education at Harvard drives us to take a more expansive view of our landscape’s potential to inspire learning. This event demonstrates that even the sky isn’t the limit to how the Arboretum can contribute to a better understanding of the natural world.”

This event is free, but registration is required.

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