The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

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April 2, 2009

Huntsville society to host 100 Hours of Astronomy

The Huntsville Amateur Astronomy Society will host a sidewalk astronomy event in the Hastings parking lot tonight from 7-10 p.m.

The event, which will be held in observation of an international effort known as the 100 Hours of Astronomy, will include opportunities to see the moon, Saturn and other attractions.

According to Michael Prokosch, a Sam Houston State University physics professor, the event will be the first of two events held in Walker County over the weekend.

“Today marks the beginning of an international effort called the 100 Hours of Astronomy,” Prokosch said Thursday. “It is one of the cornerstone events to take place this year, this being the International Year of Astronomy which commemorates the 400th anniversary of modern astronomy.

“The 100 Hours of Astronomy is to take place from April 2 through April 5, and there are literally thousands of star parties scheduled during this time all over the world. With the event at Hastings, and another scheduled for Saturday, Huntsville is no exception.”

Prokosch said tonight’s event will feature as many interesting sights as possible considering the amount of light in downtown Huntsville.

“We will have telescopes and binoculars set up, and we will use them to show guests the moon, Saturn and a few other things we might be able to see from a suburban setting,” he said. “We will also invite everyone to join us on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Sam Houston State Observatory in Riverside for a more traditional star party.

“At that event, the skies will be darker, the stars will be brighter and the telescopes will be bigger. There, you will get to see the moon, Saturn, more galaxies than you can count, supernovae explosions, stars being born and other really cool stuff.”

For more information, contact Prokosch at (936) 294-3664 or visit http://www.100hoursofastronomy.org.

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