Explore the Night Sky!

Learn about the stars at the MU Planetarium or in your own backyard!

by Kristine Worthington – March 3, 2017

How often do you look up at the night sky and wonder what an especially bright object is? This past weekend about 150 people of all ages visited the George Strait Planetarium at Mansfield University to marvel at the wonders of the night sky. This free program was provided by the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Mansfield University, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Dr. Elaine Farkas used the comfortable Grant Science Center’s Planetarium to share a visually fascinating and informative tour of constellations from both hemispheres, features of our solar system, and spectacular items the universe has to offer.

Following the visually compelling tour of the night sky, Tim Morey shared sky viewing tips with the audience. Mr. Morey’s presentation focused on the unique darkness of Cherry Springs State park and many of our local back yards. Additionally, Mr. Morey emphasized that enjoying the night sky was an important pastime of our ancestors and something we can all participate in. Simple equipment like binoculars or a telescope can enhance your observation, but the most important thing is to have very dark conditions. Several young people from the audience asked questions and shared their personal passion for enjoying the night sky.

Both presenters shared information about recognizing and limiting the effects of light pollution in our region. The darkness of our rural area allows us to see things in the night sky that many city dwellers miss out on. Remember to protect the especially dark skies that make our part of the world special. Turn off outdoor lights at night or make sure the light source is shielded to keep light down on the ground where it is useful. Decreasing light pollution will help this and future generations rediscover the peace and wonder of sky watching.
Get out there Tioga county and enjoy the never-ending action of our beautiful night sky!

Additional resources for night sky enthusiasts:
The Cherry Springs State Park website contains a variety of night sky viewing resources and a link to the upcoming calendar of events at the park.
If you are interested in attending a public planetarium show, please look for announcements in your local paper as well as on the Mansfield University events calendar.

To schedule a planetarium show for a school, church, or other activity group, or for more information about upcoming shows, please contact Dr. Elaine Farkas at 570-662-4754.

Credits:
Idea/Concept: Kristine Worthington
Videography: Kline Kaufer
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Kristine Worthington
Anchor: Amiee Jones
Correspondent: Kristine Worthington

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Penn Wells, UPMC Susquehanna

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