Astronomy Night at the Lake Forest Sports Park

The City of Lake Forest held an Astronomy Night at the Sports Park, and Science Heads was there!

We brought a bunch of new astronomy-related science stations, including Eclipse on the Wall (see how eclipses happen), Twinkle Stars (why do stars twinkle?), Sunset in a Glass Dish (why does the sky turn red at sunset?), Pie Plate Solar System (can you make the Earth orbit the Sun?), and a revised Constellation Identification station (how many do you know?). Plus there were several favorites, like Glow in the House (everyday materials that glow under “black”light) and Relative Sun Size (Sun and planet sizes to scale).

Of course, we also had the mobile observatory and plenty of telescopes. None of the more familiar planets were up for the night (Saturn had set just after the Sun), but Richard was able to treat participants to view of Uranus as a ghostly blue dot in space. Our other telescopes were pointed at individual stars like Capella and Sirius, or star clusters like the Pleiades. Meanwhile, Brad showed off our outdoor display setup with Eyes on the Solar System.

We had a great turnout, and a lot of fun. We hope that the City of Lake Forest will continue these events.

Science Heads at the City of Irvine Spooktacular Fun Days

Wow! The Spooktacular Fun Days event over the weekend was a great one! We had hundreds of people of all ages come through our Mobile Observatory, and hundreds more stop by to tour the Solar System and pick up stickers.

Our voices were rough for a few days afterward, but it was absolutely worthwhile, and we’ll be back next year, for sure! Come see us then, or if you can’t wait, check out our Calendar for upcoming public events.

Debut of Spooky Science Program at Lake Forest Elementary

The fall season of Science Heads is under way with an event at Lake Forest Elementary School! We premiered our Spooky Science program, featuring our mobile observatory (MOBS), plasma sphere, exhibit of household materials that glow under UV-A (“black”) light, “blood” tub, optical illusions, spider-sense webs, and over twenty other great stations!

We were able to see Saturn through our telescope, and had quite a line of people taking a look. The MOBS also had live video from the International Space Station, and an outside display of NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System software.

We are just getting started on our Fall events. Stay tuned for more reports!

A big thank you to our volunteers who made this an outstanding event!

Upcoming Event – Michal Peri Talk on the Solar Eclipse in Placentia

Please join us for an evening of astronomy at the Placentia Library (pdf), this Tuesday, August 1st, from 7:30 – 9:30 pm! This is a free, public event.

Dr. Michal Peri will start the evening with a talk on the upcoming solar eclipse of August 21st (just three weeks away!), which will travel from west to east all the way across the U.S.

Following her talk, Science Heads will be hosting night-sky viewing in our Mobile Observatory, three fun science and art stations outside, and an interactive 3D tour of the solar system using NASA software and imagery.

The library is located at 411 E. Chapman Ave. Placentia, CA 92870

Solar Viewing at Muzeo

Science Heads was at Muzeo in Anaheim, yesterday, for some solar viewing and public education about the solar eclipse, now only three weeks away.

The sun was very quiet during the event, with no visible sunspots or prominences, but we were able to see one filament.

Thank you to the people at Muzeo for having us come for a visit!

Solar Eclipse Talk at the Mission Viejo Library

Solar eclipse talk.

Science Heads Executive Director, Richard Stember, gave a talk on the upcoming solar eclipse at the Mission Viejo Library in front of an audience of more than 70 people. The talk was well received, and Richard got many compliments from those attending.

Science Heads volunteers and board members held an event at the library afterward, focused on solar science and eclipse viewing. We really appreciated the interest, and the opportunity to answer many questions about the sun and the solar eclipse on August 21st.

Be sure to tune in to NASA TV for live coverage of the eclipse, including a broadcast of the eclipse’s progress from inside our mobile observatory! Richard will be driving the observatory to Idaho Falls, where he will connect our solar telescope to a live video feed.

Lake Forest Camp Out

Science Heads was proud to participate in the Lake Forest Camp Out at the sports park, on the 15th.

After the last story was told around the campfire and the park lights were doused, we opened up our telescopes for viewing of Jupiter and Saturn. The “seeing” as the astronomers say, was spectacular for city viewing. We were able to see the Cassini Division in the rings of Saturn, and even get a glimpse of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter.

We’ll be participating in future Lake Forest city events, so check in on our Event Calendar!

Lake Forest Girl Scout Day Camp

A big thank you to the Lake Forest Girl Scouts for inviting us to their day camp at Irvine Lake! It was great talking to the Scouts of all ages. They asked great questions and would make excellent astronomers or other scientists.

Our crew spent the afternoon showing the Sun to the Scouts, and talking about the upcoming Great American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st!

After a break for dinner, and after it got dark, we and the OC Astronomers opened up the ‘scopes for nighttime viewing of Jupiter and Saturn.

Halecrest Swim & Tennis Club Camp Out

The night was mostly cloudy at the Halecrest Swim and Tennis Club, but we were still able to offer some looks at the moon and Jupiter as they emerged briefly from the clouds.

Meanwhile, in the mobile observatory, we were giving 3D tours of the solar system on the MOBS computer screens.