Friday, June 20, 2014

Adirondack Events: International Sun-Day at The Adirondack Public Observatory

photo used with the permission of APO
It is almost summer, true summer. The summer solstice, which marks the longest day in the northern hemisphere, will be celebrated on the first annual International Sun-Day this June 22 from 4-6 pm at the Adirondack Public Observatory (APO).  APO wants to celebrate Earth’s closest star, the Sun, with solar observing, educational programs, games, prizes and many activities for all ages. The free event will take place on the property and within the Observatory. Picnic tables will be set up for anyone to enjoy.

According to Gordon Duval, Tupper Lake Physics and Astronomy teacher and member of the APO Board of Directors, there will be telescopes with solar filters, lectures about the sun and possibly a camera to show the telescope’s findings on a TV. (Duval warns everyone that proper equipment is needed for observing the sun. He gives an example of a child using a magnifying glass to burn leaves, which is a similar effect that can happen to a person’s eyes through a regular telescope.)
Currently the APO has a 12” Reflector Meade, a Televue Refactor telescope, a 16” Newtonian telescope and the 1927 historically restored 12” Newtonian Everest telescope. There is also an assortment of smaller telescopes that are portable to make viewing more accessible.

For anyone wishing to increase his/her own knowledge of stargazing and constellations, the Adirondack Public Observatory (APO) is an amazing local resource. The summer schedule is set for June – August for Observing at the Roll-Off Roof at APO. Every Friday of the summer, APO hosts free observing at their 178 Big Wolf Rd, Tupper Lake facility. The free program starts about 30 minutes before sunset. The APO website also has a neat weather feature in case you want to know the current stargazing conditions.

There are also plenty of educational opportunities with APO. The Education Committee provides outreach via presentations, lectures and programs. Some events are held in classrooms, the APO facility and The Wild Center to name a few.

Please check the website, www.apobervatory.org or call the office, 518-359-3538,  to make sure that everything is continuing as scheduled. There are plans to enlarge the current APO site, but the current design allows a consistent viewing area with maximum exposure to the night sky.

Save the date: July 11 from 4-6 pm is the Grand Opening of the Roll-Off Roof with a dedication ceremony to celebrating the completion of Phase One of the APO Plan. Phase Two is funding a research grade telescope with a dome in it’s own observatory.

This event is free and open to the public and takes place on the Sunday closest to the summer solstice. Enjoy the stars! © Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™, which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the third guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities™.

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