Saturday, April 16 is Global Star Party night, when people all over the world will be looking skyward through telescopes—often for the first time in their lives. Several Los Angeles-area star parties are being held as part of this worldwide star-fest, one of a month-long series of events presented by the international organization Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) throughout April, which has been designated “Global Astronomy Month (GAM).”
For a global overview of April 16 events, see:
LOCAL L.A.-AREA STAR PARTIES will include an active public observing night on the lawn of Griffith Observatory, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers, and the Planetary Society. For more on the Griffith event, see:
IN THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY, the Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers will be setting up their telescopes in Monrovia, just after sunset April 16 at the corner of Myrtle and Lime, as they typically do each month on the Saturday night nearest the first-quarter moon. For details on this and their Friday night star party in Old Town Pasadena, see: otastro.org
FOR L.A.-WESTSIDE RESIDENTS, a star party is scheduled on April 16, 7:00-10:00 p.m., in the parking lot of the Christian Science Church, 7855 Alverstone Ave. at the corner of 79th St. in Westchester (one block west of Sepulveda, between 77th and 80th Streets). There is no charge, and refreshments will be served.
Telescopes will be set up for everyone’s enjoyment. Even before sunset, the half-lit moon will be visible, with a line of spectacular craters along the “terminator,” or dividing line between its sunlit and dark sides. Then as the sky darkens, planets Jupiter and Mars will emerge from the dusk, followed by the brighter stars and nebulae.
Children and adults will receive coaching from volunteer amateur astronomers to learn how to use a telescope and better understand the night sky.
Bob Eklund, host of the Westchester star party, emphasizes that while telescopes are being provided by experienced amateur astronomers, anyone having a telescope of his or her own is welcome to bring it.
“Bring the children, learn astronomy together, and enjoy the sky,” Eklund adds. “And if it’s a cloudy or rainy night, come anyway—we’ll have an indoor learning session designed especially for young people (of all ages).”
For questions about the Westchester event, contact host Bob Eklund, (310) 216-5947, [email protected]
Photo 1 caption: Romanian children observe a solar eclipse. Photo by Valentin Grigore.
Photo 2 caption: Laura and Bob Eklund with telescope at a Westchester star party. Photo by Aaron Dominguez.