>>>RSVPs open one week before.<<<
Doors open at 7:00 p.m., but get there early . . . even before 6:45 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.
Heather and I arrive at different times. Look for both of us and our meetup signs in the line, at the back left of the auditorium, and/or on the observatory roof. Don't be shy. Say hello and introduce yourselves.
If weather permits, rooftop stargazing through telescopes will follow the presentation. Dress for stargazing. No experience is necessary. The Center for Astrophysics and the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston set up all the telescopes. All you have to do is peek through the lens!
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.
The lecture goes on rain or shine or clouds or snow. The observation part of the event is often determined the moment the lecture ends.
>>>For more information about and directions to this event, visit the CfA website: 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 prefers that attendees not take pictures, but if you decide to, please do not use a flash.<<<
From the CfA:
Observatory Night: "Nature's Telescopes," Matthew Bayliss, CfA
Clusters of galaxies form the largest lenses in the universe. Their gravity bends light from more distant objects, allowing us to see those background galaxies in high definition. Learn about these natural telescopes and how they can reveal the properties of the universe over cosmic time.