HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (8/23/14) — The Hopkinsville-Christian County Convention & Visitors Bureau will host a solar astronomy observing event at the Trail of Tears Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 30.
The event will educate and familiarize everyone with safe solar viewing techniques in anticipation of the Solar Eclipse which will occur in just under 3 years on Aug. 21, 2017. It will also highlight observing our nearest star, the Sun, near the peak of its approximately eleven year solar cycle.
“The Astronomy Channel”, an award-winning mobile observatory from Brentwood, Tenn., was originally designed in 2005 by Lonnie Puterbaugh and has gone through many upgrades since that time. Lonnie is an electrical engineer professionally and an ambassador for both the National Space Society and the Von Braun Astronomical Society.
Several very high-quality solar telescopes will be setup to view multiple layers of the sun in different frequencies of light and they will utilize the Sun’s energy to keep them pointed at the Sun. Unlike most observatories and telescopes, The Astronomy Channel is designed to be wheelchair-accessible for ADA compliance through the use of video cameras and large displays that serve as eyepieces. Even those wearing glasses and with poor eyesight can observe with the technology provided by this system.
In addition the Astronomy Channel and Dr. Spence Buckner, Associate Physics Professor at Austin Peay University will display some meteorites including a 16 pound nickel-iron meteorite that landed on Earth over 5000 years ago and is known to be only a very tiny piece of a specimen that broke up and landed in Argentina. The meteorite itself may predate the Earth at over 4.5 Billion years of age. This event is ideal for all age groups and is free to attend.
The Astronomy Channel will make available a limited number of handouts about our Sun and NASA solar observing missions provided free by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. This literature is geared to students learning about and making reports on the Sun and how NASA is using technology to study the Sun to protect life on Earth.Everyone is invited to attend this event that will be located near the Pow Wow grounds at 100 Trail of Tears Drive.
Information provided by Cheryl Cook
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