Highland Road Park Observatory

12th Annual


21 April 2018 Schedule


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

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

3:00 pm to 5:30 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 tapering, but sunspots pop up at suprising times. 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! Distance, ˜150.6 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 6:45 pm(?) = FIRE ENGINE [Pavilion Loading Area]

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!

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

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.
BREC Art Program = providing the kids with age-appropriate materials to connect with the Solar System.
East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement = sharing tips and tricks for ridding skygazers of the threat of West Nile (we’re talking larvae!).
Superflare: The Fortunate Ones = reminding us of the dangers of leaving the Power Grid unprotected from CMEs. [novel for sale at $29.95; cash, check, card or Paypal]

3:00 pm to 7:15 pm = SLIDE! RIDE! BUMP! [various locations]

An eighteen-foot Dry Slide, a Spacewalk a pair of Hamster Balls! 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 4:30 pm = MARVIN THE ROBOT [Back Viewing Pad]

Marvin’s owners, the good people at St. Joseph’s Academy, will explain why he was made and what he can teach us!

3:15 pm to 6:15 pm = CHEMISTRY CHAOS [Canopies]

Dr. George Stanley and the LSU ChemDemo team 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 and the Amateur Radio Society at LSU 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.”

4:00 pm to 6:00 pm = CELTIC MUSIC [West Shrubbery Line]

The Celtic band Kitchen Session performs live!

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 = 20OGS TOURS (session one) [Large Dome]

Patrons (in two fifteen-minute groups) will see the gears and eyepieces and Sky X program for the largest telescope on site, responsible for over forty asteroid discoveries. Patrons will also view a “road map” for the sky. {Limit thirty people upstairs at once. First in line will go up.}

4:30 pm to 5:30 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!

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm = VIEWING: Moon [Front Viewing Pad]

During this time our closest celestial companion will be in its waxing crescent phase—illuminated in Gemini♊, just west of the rising Beehive Cluster! Personal binoculars recommended. Distance ˜363,000 kilometers.

5:30 pm to 6:00 pm = WARNING—COMET☄ APPROACHING! [Main Floor]

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

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!

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm = VIEWING: VENUS♀ [Back Viewing Pad and Eastern Treeline]

The eternally-cloud-covered beauty shines fiercely in the west! Personal binoculars recommended. Distance ˜224 million kilometers. Magnitude: -3.9. Phase: gibbous.

7:15 pm to 8:45 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.

8:00 pm = 20OGS TOURS (session two) [Large Dome]

See description for 4:30 pm tours.

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

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!

8:15 pm to 9:45 pm = PHYSICAL SCIENCE DEMOS [Main Floor]

The Spectrum Source Power Supply headlines a group of a half-dozen stunning demonstrations illustrating a variety of universal science concepts.

8:30 pm to 9:00 pm = VISIBLE PASSES [Back Viewing Pad]

Two spent rocket bodies, an Earth♁ study satellite, a Soviet satellite, an American military reconnaissance satellite and a Chinese satellite—they all pass through the Baton Rouge sky in less than a half-hour! Join us with binoculars or just your eyes to see all the high-altitude traffic!

9:00 pm to 11:00 pm = VIEWING: BEEHIVE CLUSTER [Front Viewing Pad]

This majestic open cluster is of about 1000 Sun☉-like and other stars. Many of these stars can be seen from Baton Rouge. Personal binoculars recommended. Distance 577 light-years. Magnitude: 4.0.

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. There are a limited number of tickets; if interested purchase tickets as soon as you arrive on site! [IMPORTANT NOTE: Purchaser need not be present to win. Purchaser may acquire tickets before 21 April.]

10:15 pm to 11:00 pm = VIEWING: Jupiter♃ [Western Shrub Line]

In the constellation Libra♎ (the only Zodiac sign not a living thing) is the King of the Planets, with its entourage of four Galilean moons! Personal binoculars recommended. Distance ˜667 million kilometers. Magnitude: -2.9.

10:30 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.

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 Saturday, April 21, 2018, 04:13 PM.