Astronomy at the Beach celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing

People sitting on grass lawn with telescopes while the sunset behind them is orange and purple.
Astronomy at the Beach 2019. Image courtesy of Amelia Doetsch. 

Southeast Michigan's largest astronomical observing event of the year celebrated the 50th anniverary of the Apollo Moon Landing in 2019.  Astronomy at the Beach, organized by the Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs, was held September 13th and 14th at Island Lake Recreation Area in Brighton, MI.  While rain slowed down the start of the festivities, skies cleared up and visitors had the opportunity to view many wonders of the night sky through dozens of telescopes. Highlights included several planets, the moon, binary star systems, globular clusters and nebulae.  

A mustachioed man in glasses holds his hands in the air behind a spiraling fire tornado. A poster for Astronomy At the Beach 2019 is in the background.
David Moutard, WSU Physics doctoral student and Planetarium staff
member, creates a fire tornado during his
Fire and Ice ​​​​​demonstrations.
Image courtesy of Amelia Doetsch.

In addition to night sky observing, lectures and activities were held throughout the evening.  Wayne State University Planetarium staff performed their Fire & Ice physics demonstrations, including the ever popular fire tornado demonstration.  The planetarium and physics department also gave demonstrations on spectroscopy, the method that allows astronomers to determine the chemical makeup of the universe. "We always enjoy giving demonstrations at Astronomy at the Beach," says Planetarium Director Megan McCullen, "We have a huge, engaged audience that we can talk to about the physics behind the organization of our universe. It's a wonderful opportunity." 

 

Over 2,000 people attended Astronomy at the Beach this year including members of the WSU Student Astronomical Society and several Wayne State alums.  The Department of Physics, WSU Planetarium and Student Astronomical Society are pleased to aid in sponsoring this annual event.

 

Six people stand in a row smiling, inside of a white tent.  Five of them are wearing Wayne State shirts.
Members of the WSU Student Astronomical Society and Planetarium Staff
enjoying Astronomy at the Beach 2019 together. 

 

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