Community members are invited to come to the second College of the Canyons Star Party, to explore the night sky in search of Saturn, and other galaxies far far away.
The party is being held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, May 21, at the Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater, located on the college’s Canyon Country campus.
“Last year the Star Party focused on Jupiter and the evening turned into something special for everyone who attended,” said Dr. Dena Maloney, Vice President of the Canyon Country Campus and Economic Development. “This year, Saturn will take center stage and the evening will be even better!”
During the event, college faculty members and amateur astronomers will be on hand to inform attendees about Saturn, while the sky is investigated through telescopes positioned to provide an out-of-this-world view of the sixth planet from the sun.
Star Party attendees are encouraged to come early with picnic blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy a festive atmosphere as the sun sets in the west and Saturn emerges as the “star” of the evening.
The Star Party is part of the college’s ongoing 40th Anniversary celebration.
A short orientation lecture about the planet Saturn presented by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) science system engineer Dr. Kevin Grazier will start the event.
Grazier joined NASA’s JPL in 1995, and has worked as science system engineer on the Cassini Equinox Mission’s study of Saturn, and also served as investigation scientist for the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem.
Grazier is also very active in bringing the wonders of science and space to the public, teaching classes in planetary science, astronomy, cosmology, the search for extraterrestrial life and the science of science fiction at UCLA and Santa Monica College and working in the entertainment industry as a scientific advisor. Grazier has also served as a contributing author and editor for several science-related books.
The success of the 2009 Star Party was due in large part to the enthusiasm and efforts of Dr. Ram Manvi, who, at the time, was the college’s dean of Mathematics, Sciences and Engineering Technologies, and had previously worked for JPL.
Dr. Manvi died suddenly in February 2010. In honor of his memory, a portion of the concession sales from this year’s Star Party will be donated to the Dr. Ram Manvi Memorial Scholarship.
For more information about the COC Star Party event, call the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus at (661) 362-3801.