CfA/Harvard-Smithson­ian Observatory: Lecture and Observatory Night

>>>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.<<<

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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.

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  • Marianne

    The CfA lecture has been completely overshadowed by recent events surrounding the Boston Marathon manhunt. I hope all of you are well and safe and staying home until all of this is over. Which I dearly hope is soon.

    April 19, 2013

  • Heather

    Glad we didn't go out in Cambridge afterwards. Really really glad.

    1 · April 19, 2013

    • Carin

      I did go to Cafe Sushi afterward near HS. So sad.

      April 19, 2013

    • Heather

      Very sad.

      April 19, 2013

  • Joel E.

    Bill:

    As you missed the intro, David was not there. Christine Pulliam hosted. We started with photos of clouds in animal shapes then on to nebulae of various forms. Then came 3 news topics. 1. Mini supernovae, 2. Can't remember 3. Extra solar system water-covered planets. Ended with a slide show of what cities around the world and their night skies would look like if no light pollution.

    Thanks for the photo of me asking a question, "does the mass of the intervening galaxy cluster (materially) affect the Doppler Shift of the light from the lensed galaxy?

    April 18, 2013

    • Heather

      I was doing a live update. Look at other comment.

      April 19, 2013

  • Samantha E.

    I forgot to RSVP, but even if I did I'd have to cancel as I have overdue school work. I will, however, watch the live feed, BUT that never includes David Aguilar's awesome intros.

    Any chance I can get someone to post a synopsis of what David talks about?

    April 18, 2013

    • Samantha E.

      I'm good from here. Thank you so much for the live blog!

      April 18, 2013

    • Heather

      No problem

      April 18, 2013

  • Carin

    I'm here in the overflow room. :)

    April 18, 2013

    • Heather

      A few of us inside. We can meetup after between the two buildings.

      1 · April 18, 2013

  • Heather

    Oops, I lost time being distracted by the news. I think I'll end up in the overflow room.

    April 18, 2013

  • Ann N.

    Will be seeing a musical tonight. Enjoy the lecture!

    April 16, 2013

  • Marianne

    Just read the e-mail notice from the CfA that this event is on as scheduled. I hope to see you of you on Thursday.

    April 16, 2013

  • Amber Lynn H.

    Darn! I can't make it. There is going to be a Science Crawl I am going to because of the CSF. I never like to miss the astronomy event though... :(

    April 12, 2013

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