Star gazing at the zoo

Default event

Open to Public

Type: Outreach

Held on: Aug 12, 2013 (Mon) at 09:00 PM to Aug 13, 2013 (Tue) at 12:00 AM

Location: 47.680880, -122.341411

Event Coordinator: Zongyao Mao

This is an enrichment for employees. Any topics you wanted to cover would be fine. Mostly just general information.


Latitude 47.68136, Longitude -122.3408605


The skies could have been more cooperative on Monday night, but some quick thinking and a few lucky breaks made the SAS Outreach Program at the Woodland Zoo a memorable night marked by at least three Perseid sightings and a visit by the International Space Station before the night was done.
We'd just gotten our equipment up shortly before 9 PM when we saw there was going to be fairly dense cloud cover coming in. A modest crowd of Woodland Zoo employees and family members had begun to assemble by this point and were swiftly engaged by our own Douglas Hoople, who valiantly kept the group engaged for at least 20 minutes with a very informative lesson on the essential of nighttime stargazing. Unfortunately the clouds looked be in the long haul this evening despite our best hopes, but much of the crowd seemed to have no trouble making their own party (providing drinks was a good move on the host's behalf).
Others were more inquisitive, and we had a productive time answering questions about telescopes, stars and other celestial bodies from anyone who stepped forward and asked us. Some gaps between the clouds became wide enough to give us some viewing opportunities as the evening wore on, allowing us to point out such common sights as Deneb, Altair, Vega and Arcturus while Zong managed to get a superb fix on a binary star. Perseid sightings had people in proportionate gasps of awe and dismay depending on who was blinking when it happened, and the ISS rolled across the sky not long before 11:00 in an appearance I don't think any of us had been expecting. 
I had to turn in for the night around this point, but I think we had the opportunity to give plenty of people their first taste of stargazing, hopefully planting a seed in a few future astronomers! 


Mike Benavidez


Number of Supporters: 3

Number of Attendees: 40

Number of Telescopes: 2

Duration (hours): 3.0



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