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June General Meeting

Planet Quest/Night Sky Network Introduction

Bob Havner


As you may, or may not know, the SJAA is a member of the Night Sky Network. The Night Sky Network is a nationwide coalition of amateur astronomy clubs bringing the science, technology and inspiration of NASA's missions to the general public.

To that end NASA and the ASP have developed an outreach toolkit called the Planet Quest Activity Toolkit. The toolkit contains instruction and materials for four activities.

* The Telescope Treasure Hunt, an activity where participants "hunt" for objects on telescope row.

* Where are the Distant Worlds, an activity that teaches the use of star maps and points out stars where planets have been discovered.

* Why we put Telescopes in Space. This activity demonstrates the effects that our atmosphere has on observing from the ground.

* How we find Planets Around Other Stars. A hands-on activity that demonstrates the radial velocity method of planet detection.

All these materials are available for any SJAA members to use. It is a very useful tool for introducing the public to astronomy. They can also be used at Scout meetings and classroom settings like Project Astro.

We will have demonstrations of the activities at the meeting. It will be fun for all ages, so come to the meeting and learn a little about how we will find other worlds.

For info about the Night Sky Network:

NASA Planet Quest Website:


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