Waterloo invites community to explore the night sky at star-gazing party

Monday, August 8, 2011
WATERLOO, Ont. (Monday, Aug. 8, 2011) - The University of Waterloo is inviting members of the public to participate in a star-gazing party on Friday, Aug. 12.

The free event, which runs from 8:15 p.m. until midnight, features presentations on meteors and astrophysics and offers visitors of all ages a chance to explore the night sky with telescopes and star charts.

Members from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and some of Waterloo’s astronomy faculty and students will also be on hand to answer any questions star-gazers may have.

"Our star-gazing parties give people the chance to look through some telescopes and talk to experts about what they might see," said Michael Balogh, associate professor in the department of physics and astronomy. "We look forward to welcoming the community at this very popular event."

If weather permits, attendees may see the peak of the Perseid meteors, part of an annual meteor shower that is located in the constellation Perseus.

All visitors can enter a raffle for a chance to win one of several Galileoscopes, an easy-to assemble telescope that allows users to see what Galileo first glimpsed more than 400 years ago.

Waterloo’s star gazing party has been held annually since 2009 in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy. In 2009, IYA aimed to stimulate global interest not only in astronomy, but science in general, with world-wide celebrations to pay tribute to astronomy’s contributions to society and culture.

The star-gazing party, organized by the department of physics and astronomy, will be held on the university’s north campus soccer pitch, located off Columbia Street West at Hagey Boulevard. Free parking will be available at Open Text in the David Johnston Research and Technology Park. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets

An RSVP is preferred so guests can be alerted about the status of the event in case of cancellation due to inclement weather. Any wishing to attend should send an email to scienceevents@uwaterloo.ca or phone 519-888-4567 ext. 38804.

About Waterloo

The University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, is one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities. Waterloo is home to 30,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are dedicated to making the future better and brighter. Waterloo, known for the largest post- secondary co-operative education program in the world, supports enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. For more information about Waterloo, visit www.uwaterloo.ca.

Contacts:

Michael Balogh, associate professor, physics and astronomy, 519-888-4567 ext. 37518 or mbalogh@uwaterloo.ca

Joanna Magee, communications officer, faculty of science, 519-888-4567 ext. 38983 or jmagee@uwaterloo.ca

John Morris, Waterloo media relations, 519-888-4435 or john.morris@uwaterloo.ca

Waterloo news release no. 43
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