Highland Road Park Observatory

11th Annual


29 April 2017 Schedule


3:00 pm to 5:00 pm = REMOTE WITH THE TIGER [near Pavilion]

100.7 The Tiger’s Carly McCord will greet arriving patrons with a live remote right behind the fire engine!

3:00 pm to 5:15 pm = VIEWING: Sun☉ [Front Viewing Pad]

Our parent star (in the constellation Aries♈ at this time) is put into focus. For the past few months activity—sunspots and flares—has been increasing dramatically. Utilizing a solar telescope we’ll show you an amazing view of the Sun☉ in hydrogen-alpha light. Any sizable flares or prominences occurring at this time will be easily seen-and there’s a good chance of that! Distance, ˜151 million kilometers.

3:00 pm to 6:00 pm = FEARLESS PHYSICS [near Front Viewing Pad]

The Society of Physics Students will have the MARS Truck stuffed with crazy and thrilling electromechanical and electromagnetic devices to illustrate the basic physical rules of the Universe.

3:00 pm to 7:00 pm = CELESTIAL PERIPHERIALS [Canopies]

Baton Rouge Gallery = providing the kids with age-appropriate materials to connect with the Solar System.
Baton Rouge Gem and Mineral Society = satisfying all urges rock and strata.
Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport = telling us that weight, drag, thrust and lift are what it’s all about.
Baton Rouge Zoo = bringing plenty of animals—do any them correspond to the constellations?
Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center = showcasing “alien” plant species and the possibility of plants on other planets.
CAMD = explaining the concept of synchrotron radiation and why it is valuable to all types of scientists.
Civil Air Patrol = informing on the uses of aeronautics for search and rescue.
LIGO = blowing minds with their search for gravitational waves.
Southern Regional Climate Center = making available climate information for Louisiana and surrounding states.

3:00 pm to 7:00 pm = SLIDE! RIDE! BUMP! [various locations]

An eighteen-foot Dry Slide, a pair of Hamster Balls and a Trackless Train! Wristband required. $5.00 cost covers all rides.

3:00 pm to 8:00 pm = BOOKMOBILE! [behind Canopies]

The East Baton Rouge Parish Library presents the fantastic books and other resources for amateur astronomers—and a treat or two for the kids.

3:15 pm to 4:00 pm = FLYING THE SKIES [Front Lawn]

Members of the Red Stick R/C Club demonstrate their skills with savvy moves through the air.

3:15 pm to 5:15 pm = RENAISSANCE SUNDIAL [Back Viewing Pad]

We unveil an astounding object that is both scientific timekeeper and work of art—an amazing helical body that reflects a beam of sunlight onto the correct time notch. Feel free to return to it periodically and compare it with your “modern” timepiece. You’ll be surprised by its accuracy.

3:15 pm to 6:15 pm = CHEMISTRY CHAOS

Dr. George Stanley and the LSU Chemistry Department wow the kids (and we’re sure the adults as well) with possibly loud, possibly stinky, possibly quick-to-the-eye chemistry “magic.” Patrons must follow instructions rigidly if demonstration is to proceed.

3:15 pm to 7:15 pm = RIDING THE RADIO WAVES [under Radio Dish]

The Baton Rouge Amateur Radio Club will be teaching how to send one’s name in Morse code, and introducing visitors to the joys of broadcasting over those bands set aside just for “hams.”

3:30 pm = PREMIERE #1: PLUTO GLOBE [Small Dome Entrance]

The surface of this distant world is no longer speculation thanks to the New Horizons mission. Now HRPO has this wondrous landscape on display via the very first commercially-available Pluto Globe!

3:30 pm to 5:30 pm = CELTIC MUSIC [BREC Stage]

The Celtic band Kitchen Session performs live!

3:30 pm to 7:30 pm(?) = FIRE ENGINE [near Pavilion]

The St. George Fire Protection District will visit while on duty. They may get a call and have to leave, so make this your first stop! For obvious reasons, the engine’s time at HRPO may be cut short if its personnel receives a call!

3:45 pm to 4:45 pm = THE CIRCUITRY OF ZELDA [???]

You may have to look for it, but the student robot from the Dunham School will be on site…possibly roaming on the loose, so be careful!

3:45 pm to 4:45 pm = 3D PRINTING-IT’S REAL! [Main Floor]

St. Joseph’s Academy demonstrates the future now, with a 3D printer that will create objects before your eyes!

4:00 pm to 9:00 pm = ADVENTURE QUEST [instructions and form at Information Table]

The frantic search game is always an IAD favorite. Gather the points to get the prizes—but should you redeem for small prizes as soon as possible, or get more points for higher level prizes? Will someone get the big prizes before you?

4:30 pm = PREMIERE #2: HYPNO SQUARE [Small Dome]

Sixty-four RGB LEDs create over four thousand colors that dynamically morph into a never-ending series of rhythmic animations!

4:45 pm to 5:45 pm = STELLA-5785 [???]

St. Joseph’s Academy’s U.S. First Robotics entry will be on display.

5:45 pm to 6:15 pm = WARNING—COMET☄ APPROACHING! [Main Floor]

The alert has been sounded! The raw materials of a “dirty snowball” makes one come to life!


There are only 1000 of these rare prints, and not every one purchased will be on public display. HRPO has one, and it will first be seen in Baton Rouge tonight!

6:15 pm to 7:45 pm = SPACE FACES [near Pavilion]

Decorate your face with one of the planets, a comet☄, a galaxy or the Sun☉ or Moon!

6:45 pm to 7:45 pm = CREATIVE CHEMISTRY [Main Floor]

Catholic High wows the kids (and everyone, really) with its really, really good show of one chemical delight after another.

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm = MAGNIFICENT MAGNIFICATION [Main Floor]

The Scope-on-a-Rope is in action at this time for visitors to bring small objects—within reason!—to magnify.

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm = VIEWING: Moon [Front Viewing Pad]

During this time our closest celestial companion will be in its waxing crescent phase—illuminated in Orion, just west of the setting Winter Triangle! Personal binoculars recommended. Distance ˜361,000 kilometers.

7:15 pm to 8:15 pm = THE AMAZING FIRE SPINNERS [Back Viewing Pad]

Friends Lauren Bacon, Sarah “SayRah”" Bolton, and Amanda Kirkwood are firebugs—the good kind! They will wow the crowd with an artistic display of fire in motion! Patrons must follow instructions rigidly if demonstration is to proceed.

7:30 pm to 11:00 pm = VIEWING: Lunar Landscape [Large Dome]

Compare what you’ve seen of our only satellite so far (in the scopes on the viewing pads) with the magnificent “in-flight” view of the terrain of the four-day-old Moon—including Mare Crisium lava basin.


“Old timers” at HRPO remember the first one the facility had—how it would awe the kids with glowing neon, mercury or water vapor. Imagine a bigger and better version and you’ll understand why we acquired this one! See elements and substances reveal their hidden secrets with this incredible device.

8:25 pm = LACROSSE 4 ROCKET VISIBLE PASS [Back Viewing Pad]

Preliminary estimates show that the pass of the Lacrosse 4 rocket at this time will be visible to the unaided eye due to the high amount of sunlight the machine will be reflecting. The Titan 4B rocket left Earth in August 2000. Join us five minutes early at this location and we’ll tell you where to look!

8:30 pm to 9:00 pm = TWILIGHT SKY TOUR [Back Viewing Pad]

The Moon and Jupiter♃…the Big Dipper, Arcturus and Spica…Sirius, Gemini♊ and Leo♌. The denizens of the mid-spring sky appeal to young and old, and you may learn more about them than you thought you could!

8:45 pm to 11:00 pm = VIEWING: Jupiter♃ [Large Dome]

Jupiter♃ is even closer to Earth♁ than during last year’s IAD! It will shine brilliantly in Virgo♍. Distance ˜678 million kilometers.

10:00 pm: RAFFLE DRAWING [Main Floor]

The three prize items will be awarded one “draw” at a time. The tickets will be sold until the first drawing.

10:15 pm to 11:00 pm = VIEWING: Omega Centauri [location to be revealed]

The legendary globular cluster is notoriously elusive from this latitude. It is IAD tradition to attempt a spotting from a savvy vantage point on the grounds, looking through the gaps in the trees. Believe us, it’s worth it! Distance—hold on to your seat—a whopping 18,000 light years. Personal binoculars strongly recommended.

All viewing is weather permitting.

Free binocular checkout from HRPO front desk will be available at 7:30 pm, but there are a limited number. We strongly encourage visitors to bring binoculars.

Astronomy Day

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Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Friday, April 21, 2017, 02:34 PM.