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New Meetup: Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory: Lecture and Stargazing Open to the Public

From: Marianne
Sent on: Monday, December 20, 2010 9:00 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory: Lecture and Stargazing Open to the Public

When: Thursday, January 20,[masked]:45 PM

Where: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA)
60 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

This event takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 20, 2011, at Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge. 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.

If weather permits, rooftop stargazing through telescopes will follow the presentation. Dress for stargazing! In the January cold.

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. Mass Ave buses (to points in Arlington and North Cambridge) originate in Harvard Square on the Red Line and travel along Massachusetts Avenue, which is about a 10-minute walk from the auditorium.

For more information and directions, go to or call 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. At this point, we can collect everyone from the lecture hall and the overflow viewing room.

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 exciting objects to observe!

***After stargazing, we will meet at Felipe?s Mexican restaurant in The Garage in Harvard Square:

Felipe?s Taqueria
83 Mount Auburn St
Cambridge, MA[masked]

From the CfA:

Monthly Observatory Night
Thursday, January 20, 2010, "Mysterious Gamma-Ray Bubbles in the Milky Way," Douglas Finkbeiner, CfA
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has produced a string of stunning discoveries in its first two years, opening our eyes to the high-energy universe as never before. Douglas Finkbeiner will tell about one of those discoveries, found by him and his team: a pair of giant gamma-ray bubbles blown out of the galactic center. They are over 50,000 light years from end to end, have "sharp" edges, and are full of high-energy particles of mysterious origin.

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