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Astronomy Classes to be Offered at VB Center for Art Education

Education OutreachLearn about some of the history and basics of Astronomy starting June 1, 2004.

Astronomy is the "Queen of Sciences", primarily because so many other disciplines of science are used to tell us about the distant objects in our solar system, or our Milky Way galaxy, or the rest of the universe.
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Catch Saturn Before It's Too Late

Education OutreachAs Saturn sets in the west, the last good evening views of the Ringed Planet until next spring means if you want to see those rings you have to attend one of the next three AOAS Public Observing Nights. Watch brilliant Venus, Mars and Saturn as they change their positions every clear evening and then all pass one another and trade places in the sky over the next few weeks. And don't forget, there are two comets in the west, too. (See story "Comets On The Doorstep" below)
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Drive the Mars Rovers!

Education Outreach
NASA's M2K4 Web site launched an interactive program giving any citizen of cyberspace the chance to drive NASA's Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, across the red planet.

"This experience gives visitors to NASA's Web site the chance to explore Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, without having to make the 300-million-mile trek," said Dennis Armstrong, NASA's Kennedy Space Center Public Web Information Manager. "We're hoping users will count on this feature as a great source to find out about Mars Exploration Rover discoveries. A lot of people already have. During the first 10 days of program operation, we received more than 210,000 page views," Armstrong said.

The interactive experience is frequently updated with the latest pictures and data from the Mars Rover missions. Drivers of the digital Martian duo can examine the same points of interest investigated by the real rovers. M2K4 is a multimedia experience that gives Web users the chance to explore the Mars Exploration Rover missions up close. Interactive features include animations of the mission, Martian trivia, and the chance to virtually drive across the surface of Mars.
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STARS IN THE PARKS

Education OutreachAOAS and the Ft Smith Parks Dept have teamed up to give the public an opportunity to view stars and planets from here within the city of Ft Smith. We call our program, “Stars in the Park”, and these outings will utilize the materials from the Night Sky Network, a joint collaboration between NASA, JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. These events are FREE and open to the public.

The dates and locations for these public nights are as follows:

MARCH 26 OR 27 (CAC) (I say OR because if Friday's are clouded out, we'll do Saturday)
APRIL 17 (CAC)
MAY 21 OR 22 (CAC OR MLK) CAROL ANN CROSS PARK
JUNE 19 (CAC)
AUGUST 21 (CAC OR MLK) MARTIN LUTHER KING PARK
SEPTEMBER 17 or 18 (CAC)
OCTOBER 16 (CAC)
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Welcome to the Night Sky Network

Education Outreach
AOAS is one of the first clubs in the U.S. to take part in an astronomy and space science educational outreach effort. The Arkansas Oklahoma Astronomical Society (AOAS) has been accepted into this new program funded and promoted by NASA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab). The purpose of the program, known as The Night Sky Network, and the function of the club as well, is to make available to the public and area school programs, public observing nights to introduce the night sky to every one interested in astronomy.

AOAS has received our PlanetQuest Outreach ToolKit designed to help explain difficult concepts and to encourage thought. The ToolKit contains the materials needed to present lessons on four different aspects of astronomy:
  1. HOW DO WE FIND PLANETS AROUND OTHER STARS? Participants manipulate various demonstration materials to simulate star wobble (astrometry and radial velocity), transits (photometry), and direct imaging of planets.
  2. TELESCOPE TREASURE HUNT: HOW DO STARS AND PLANETS FORM? Tour the telescopes at a star party to view different objects that contribute to stellar and planetary formation, place stickers on a Telescope Treasure List.
  3. WHERE ARE THE DISTANT WORLDS? Use a star map to find and identify stars with known extrasolar planets.
  4. WHY DO WE PUT TELESCOPES IN SPACE? Participants investigate poor simulated seeing conditions through a mock telescope.
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Comets - Ghosts of Myth and Legend - Tails of Creation

Education Outreach
AOAS Presents: Dr. P. Clay Sherrod of Arkansas Sky Observatory, speaking on "Comets" at our regular meeting on April 16, 2004, in the Rose Room at Creekmore Park beginning at 7 pm. The public is invited, and there is NO admission fee.

An educator and researcher in earth and physical sciences, astronomy and archeology, Dr. P. Clay Sherrod ("Dr. Clay" as his students knew him) has devoted over three decades to the advancement of public knowledge and appreciation of the pure and applied sciences. Now retired but continuing private research and outreach programs, Sherrod has published hundreds of papers and documents in scientific journals and publications worldwide, and numerous books in archeology, meteorology and climatology, archeoastronomy, astronomy and biomedical research ( http://www.arksky.org/pubs.htm ). Advanced degrees that have led to the diversity and cross-connecting of these sciences include astronomy and space science, archeology, physics and anthropology.

Complete descriptions of all past works and present pursuits from his private observatory and research facilities - Arkansas Sky, Inc - can be found at the website for the Arkansas Sky Observatory at http://www.arksky.org.Arkansas Sky Inc. and Arkansas Sky Observatory is now a completely private facility operating through the Sherrod family trusts.
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Astronomy Basics Course Offered

Education Outreach
AOAS 13.1" f/4.5 Dobsonian "5-scope"
The Arkansas Oklahoma Astronomical SocietyIn cooperation with Trinity Episcopal Church of Van Buren, will be offering a 6 week class in basic Science of Astronomy. Learn about constellations, telescopes, eclipses, our Solar System, our Milky Way Galaxy, and our Universe! These classes will be held on Thursdays, beginning September 11 through October 16Class will start at 7 pm and run till 8:30 pm each week, and students will be able to view the heavens with large telescopes for 1 to 2 hours after each week's class Weather Permitting!

COST: $25 Adults / $20 students / $15 Children 15 and under
Instructors: Bob Moody, President, AOAS and Joe Roam, Vice President, AOAS.

Call for reservations: Coleman Observatory (479) 474-4740.

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