Highland Road Park Observatory

Calendar of Events 2014 - August

Friday, 1 August

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Beliefs about UFOs Very often, an astronomer is asked whether he or she thinks there is life on other planets. Then there is that much different question... “Do you believe aliens have visited the Earth?”. For the sixth consecutive year C. Gary Pettigrew (recently retired from LSU's Religious Studies Program) gives the audience an intriguing perspective on why some of us want to believe the answer to that question is “yes”. [Free admission. For ages for ages fourteen and older.]
8:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waxing crescent Moon will be 31% illuminated at a maximum altitude of 31°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

Saturday, 2 August

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Clouds Clouds should be appreciated. From the glowing beauty of the noctilucents to the clunky, imposing lenticulars...clouds are Cadets’ friends! [For ages eight to twelve. $5 per in-parish Cadet; $6 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waxing crescent Moon will be 40% illuminated at a maximum altitude of 44°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

Friday, 8 August

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Solar Cycle 24 Though not as intense as many, the current solar cycle generated splendid sunspots and flares, CMEs and radio blackouts and lovely aurorae. Is the All Quiet Event heralding the end? When should we expect Cycle 25? [Free admission. For ages for ages fourteen and older.]
8:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waxing gibbous Moon will be 96% illuminated at a maximum altitude of 37°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

Saturday, 9 August

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Storms! There are the cute spring showers that wet the garden’s whistle and keep us indoor reading. Then there are the violent lightning-bringers that have spotters reporting via ham radio and local forecasters issuing warnings. Cadets know—storms are never dull! [$5 per in-parish Cadet; $6 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Plus Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. Inside, physical science demonstrations will be on display. Weather permitting, there will also have a marshmallow roast (if the heat index isn’t too high) and a sky tour. During this time the waning gibbous Moon will be 99% illuminated at a maximum altitude of 32°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

Monday, 11 August

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm: Baton Rouge Astronomical Society Meeting For over thirty years B.R.A.S. has educated countless numbers of citizens in the joys of planetary and deep-sky gazing, the perils of light pollution and factors to consider when buying a pair of binoculars or a telescope. B.R.A.S. members have published in Astronomy, Sky & Telescope and Scientific American. B.R.A.S. members have constructed their own telescopes and photographic platforms. B.R.A.S. members have entered robotics competitions, imaged comets, earned observing certificates and discovered asteroids. B.R.A.S. members have been interviewed by local media and the National Geographic Society. Anyone interested in learning more about B.R.A.S. is invited to attend. [Free admission. For ages for ages fourteen and older.]
10:00 pm to 2:00 am Tuesday: Perseid Meteor Shower The Perseids are one of the major meteor showers of the year, caused by debris left from the passing of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Come learn about meteors and let’s see if we can spot some “earthgrazers”. Although telescopes aren’t needed for the Perseids, we’ll have a telescope available for leisurely gazing at other celestial objects. But look carefully for the meteors; Perseid meteoroids hit our atmosphere traveling about sixty kilometers a second! HRPO grounds are the only BREC property on which the public is allowed for viewing the shower. Please read the safety rules before attending; visitors must adhere to those rules. [Free admission. For all ages.]

Friday, 15 August

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: The Atchafalaya Basin Dr. Bryan Piazza, author of a brand-new book on the Atchafalaya River Basin, gives his first HRPO talk. BRAS’ dark-sky site is on the Basin, and many park and conservation officials are beginning to look at the night sky as an actual resource! [Free admission. For ages fourteen and older.]
8:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waning gibbous Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

Saturday, 16 August

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Expedition 1 It all started here! In the fall of 2000 Commander William Shepherd, teamed with Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev to usher in a new era of low-Earth orbit experiments. The Cadets will relive that great beginning with circuit board construction and a sampling of the Expedition One menu. [$5 per in-parish Cadet; $6 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
5:15 pm to 7:15 pm: Planet Time: Mercury Have a favorite planet? HRPO sets aside time annually for each planet in our Solar System. If you missed it in the spring, we’ll be opening early once again for Mercury. Leo will be the target constellation this time—-Mercury doesn’t stay in any one constellation for long! [Free admission. For all ages.]
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waning crescent Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

Friday, 22 August

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Commercial Space Exploration NASA breaks ground with men in orbit, living in space, travels to the Moon and beyondCommercial companies have always been there as partners, building the hardware to make it possible. Now some companies are tentatively following in NASA’s historic footsteps to begin the commercialization of low-Earth orbit. HRPO Center Supervisor Tom Northrop has all the details! [Free admission. For ages fourteen and older.]
8:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waning crescent Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

Saturday, 23 August

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Meteor Showers During those times when the Earth plows through debris fields of interplanetary dust, a greater number of streaks and flashes in the sky can be seen. Cadets will learn the tips and tricks for seeing as many as possible. [$5 per in-parish Cadet; $6 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm Solar Viewing Weather permitting, safe viewing of the Sun in three different manners will occur during this time period. During this time the Sun will be in the constellation Leo at a maximum altitude of 72°. [Free admission. Solar viewers available for $1.50.]
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waning crescent Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

Friday, 29 August

7:30 pm: Genesis: Ten Years Later It had a majestic and cutting-edge goal—to trap particles of the solar wind on sapphire and diamond and return them to Earth! Relive the awesome collection process, the nail-biting return through our atmosphere and the discoveries unlocked by the analysis. [Free admission. For ages fourteen and older.]
8:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waxing crescent Moon will be 18% illuminated at a maximum altitude of 15°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

Saturday, 30 August

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Asteroids and Comets These “minor planets” and visitors from the icy outer regions of the Solar Systems provide us with clues to our home’s beginning. They also remind Cadets that in order to survive we must colonize the Moon and Mars! [$5 per in-parish Cadet; $6 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time he waxing crescent Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [Free admission. For all ages.]

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Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Thursday, July 31, 2014 2:16:33 PM.