CfA/Harvard-Smithson­ian Observatory: Special Viewing Event

RSVPs open a week before. Note that this special viewing event starts earlier than usual. And it's weather-dependent. Call[masked] the day of the event to confirm.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., but get there early . . . even before 6:15 p.m. Seating is first-come, first-served for the main lecture room. The overflow crowd sits in a separate screening room. Admission is free.

If weather permits, rooftop stargazing through telescopes will follow the presentation. Dress for stargazing.

Free parking is available to everyone after 5 p.m. (Ignore the "staff only" signs.) Drive up to the back, up the hill. The presentation is up the stairs that are opposite the observatory-in-a-box.

From the Harvard stop on the MBTA Red Line, take any bus or trackless trolley going west on Concord Avenue in Cambridge (Arlmont Village and Belmont Center buses; Huron Avenue trolley) and get off at the Observatory Hill stop.

For more information and directions about this event, visit the CfA website at  http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/events or call them at 617.495.7461.

A line forms early for this event. Please do not cut in line because we will meet inside the auditorium: go to the back left of the seats. The overflow crowd goes into a separate screening room, so everyone gets in to see the presentation. Even if we don't sit together, we will meet in the courtyard after the lecture and before we go up on the roof. (If you are in the separate screening room, turn right after you exit and walk toward the courtyard, then look for signs pointing the way to the telescopes.) You can also look for the meetup sign while we are waiting in line to look through the telescopes.

Sitting at the left rear of the lecture hall is a way to let people find me and an empty seat that much more easily. The lectures are lots of fun, though, and I can certainly understand if you would like to sit up front and closer to the (very entertaining!) talks. Please sit where you are most comfortable. If you are bringing children to the event, you may want to sit toward the front so they can see and ask questions. We will be able to chat after the lecture, while we wait in line for a chance to stargaze through the several rooftop telescopes. Each telescope is usually trained on a different sight in the nighttime sky, so waiting in several lines gives us plenty of time to introduce ourselves. And plenty of nighttime objects to observe.

The CfA would prefer that attendees not take photos, but if you do, please do not use a flash.

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From the CfA:

Special Viewing Event: "Winter Sky Wonders," hosted by John Sheff, CfA

The winter sky blazes with dazzling deep-sky gems. At night Earth looks outward across our galaxy and into the void beyond. Rich star clusters sparkle with hundreds of distant suns. Star-forming nebulae fill a telescope eyepiece with a ghostly greenish glow. Grand spiral galaxies wheel across your vision. Experience it all at our Winder Sky Wonders star party, where we'll celebrate the 100th birthday of CfA's 9-inch Clark telescope.

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  • Marianne

    Joseph,
    What to do right the next time: Say hello and ask if others are there with Nerd Fun. There's no reason to be shy.

    December 7, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I didn't see anyone to ask. As far as I could tell, I was the only one hanging out in the back left corner. Perhaps I was suffering from hysterical blindness, but I think it is more likely that I somehow misread the directions.

      December 8, 2012

  • Marianne

    Joseph,
    The back left corner of . . . the auditorium? Where I was sitting with my meetup sign and introducing everyone who greeted me and told me they belonged to Nerd Fun? Did you miss the bigger sign I now have and waved around in a way worthy of a nerd?! It always helps to introduce yourself if you see that big ole meetup sign. I talked to a lot of fellow Nerd Fun members in line, at the back left of the auditorium, and up on the roof in several lines at several telescopes. What to do right the next time: Say hello!

    December 7, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I sat in the very back left corner chair, looking around continually, and never saw anything you describe. Did you mean left when facing the back, rather than facing the stage as I assumed? Or the back of the mezzanine?

      December 7, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was there, but nobody else showed up in the appointed back left corner. What did I do wrong?

    December 6, 2012

  • Erez

    Yes Marianne, we have sat in the 3rd row enjoying the talk, capacakes and later the amazing space Jupiter moons including Europa

    1 · December 6, 2012

  • Marianne

    Great lecture. Lots of laughs and chocolate cupcakes (very impressive!). Jupiter and the Orion Nebula were beautiful. Great to meet new people. Thanks everyone for coming out on a cold night.

    December 6, 2012

  • Marianne

    Rassakhatsky and Erez,
    Did you get inside and find the Nerd Fun group at the back left of the auditorium? That's where we all sat. I hope that you got in and had a chance to go up on the observatory deck.

    December 6, 2012

  • Rassakhatsky D.

    Anybody on the street in inline?

    December 6, 2012

  • Erez

    We are here and its freezing

    December 6, 2012

  • M L

    see you all there...

    December 5, 2012

  • Marianne

    Douglas, your personal status is not an issue, as far as I know, in attending a Nerd Fun event. E-mail Heather, the group's organizer, via the Meetup Nerd Fun page if you have any additional questions. See the column at the left of this page, for instance, to find a link to e-mail Heather.

    December 4, 2012

  • Douglas G.

    Hello Everyone, I am just curieous ! Should you be single or just be a NERD ?.

    December 4, 2012

  • Dusya L.

    Are you saying that I should just call the number ?.

    November 25, 2012

    • Heather

      (Psst, look for where it says "admission is free")

      November 25, 2012

    • Douglas G.

      I am sorry , This is a bit out of context folks ; I am just generally curious ! . Is this group actually for singles or for ANY nerd ?. DUSYA .

      December 4, 2012

  • Marianne

    Mary Lynn, no worries. I set this event up so that only Nerd Fun members would be counted, but if you consult the CfA website, you'll see that the public is welcome. It's really a CfA event, after all!

    December 4, 2012

  • M L

    i said that i was bringing my friend david with. hope that was confirmed. mary lynn

    December 1, 2012

  • Marianne

    The webpage RSVPs are open only to Nerd Fun members. Please read the event description, visit the CfA website (the green type is pretty easy to find, yes?), and then decide if you would like to bring a guest or guests.

    November 29, 2012

  • Dusya L.

    I am sorry, I am having difficulties RSVPing ! What should I do and what do I do wen I want to bring someone with me ?.

    November 25, 2012

    • Heather

      If you read the event page the first words are "rsvps open a week before". Let us know if you need more help with the event description.

      November 25, 2012

  • Dusya L.

    I am not sure .

    November 25, 2012

  • Marianne

    Dusya, the answer to your question is in the event description--see the sixth line. It is always helpful to read the event description!

    November 25, 2012

  • Dusya L.

    By the way , What does a ticket cost ?.

    November 24, 2012

  • Dusya L.

    I will put this in my calendar :) !.

    November 24, 2012

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