Tamke-Allan Observatory at Roane State Community College continues its Summer Public Stargazing with an examination of light and light pollution on Saturday, August 3.
The gates open at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and a public lecture will be presented at 8 p.m. by guest lecturer and retired clinical researcher Linda Fippin.
“For the vast majority of human history, nighttime lighting was limited to the hearth fire,” a press release said. “As villages, towns, and eventually cities developed, lighting was still limited to oil lamps and candles. Gas lighting was not invented until the late 18th century, and electric street lights have only been in use for about 140 years. Nighttime lighting has many benefits, but excessive and inappropriate use has led to light pollution, which not only has negative effects on people, quality of life, and the natural environment, but also wastes energy resources. This talk will cover a brief history of nighttime lighting, the effects of light pollution, and what can be done to lessen them.”
An evening of stargazing will be featured after the lecture, where participants will see constellations and the Milky Way, dark sky objects, Jupiter and its moons, ringed Saturn, and a very dark waxing crescent moon with beautiful craters, the press release said. The stargazes are supported by local astronomers and students.
The observatory is located near Rockwood, Tennessee, uphill from the intersection of Caney Creek and Joiner Hollow Road; see the map at www.roanestate.edu/obs. The gates open at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of each month.
Fall astronomy classes begin at Roane State on August 26. Registration is now open for the popular class, which meets at the Oak Ridge Campus and at the observatory, the press release said. Classes are capped at 20 students.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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