by David Lenius
The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society (DPAS) has been selected to host the annual convention of the North Central Region of the Astronomical League (NCRAL). This annual event will see astronomers and speakers from all over the Midwest converge at The Lodge at Leathem Smith in Sturgeon Bay, May 4-5. This year’s theme is “Dark Skies for Bright Stars” in honor of Newport Park being listed as an International Dark Sky Site, the first in Wisconsin and only the 13th in the entire United States.
On the evening of Friday, May 4, the DPAS Observatory and Astronomy Center will be open for viewing and tours of the facilities. On Saturday there will be an astronomy photo contest with photos from amateur astronomers from the region as well an exciting lineup of speakers.
The speakers at this event will be:
Kevin “The Dark Ranger” Poe is a dark sky advocate and educator. His presentation will be “Preserving Our Dark Skies.” He is trained as an interdisciplinary scientist with two degrees and four minors. Poe founded the tradition of night sky advocates known as Dark Rangers and teaches workshops and consults in mitigating light pollution.
Kate Meredith is the Education Director at the University of Chicago Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wis. Her presentation will be “Innovators Developing Accessible Tools for Astronomy.” Meredith has more than 25 years of teaching and curriculum development experience in both formal and informal education. She will explore what else we can do with invisible data that will allow everyone access to the same quality and quantity of information.
Audrey Fischer works through her organization, One Star at a Time to create star parks in Chicago and around the world. Star parks are designated areas where the lights are off or directed downward. As a Chicago native, she knows that it isn’t a perfect place for stargazing, but she is working to return stars back to all cities.
Beth Bartoli is the naturalist at Newport State Park, our recently designated Dark Sky Site. Her presentation will be “Newport, an International Dark Sky Park: How We Got There; Where We are Going.” Bartoli was part of the team that worked on the application process and was instrumental in helping Newport achieve International Dark Sky Park status from the International Dark Sky Association, a first for the State of Wisconsin.
Tyler Linder is a professional astronomer who operates a group of telescopes at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chili. His presentation will be “Asteroid Characterization.” Due to the large volume of asteroids, characterization studies provide for great overlap between the amateur and professional astronomers. Linder will provide an interesting talk on the collaboration between astronomers of varying skill sets.
The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is excited to be able to bring this distinguished group of speakers together for this event. Registration information for anyone interested in attending this event can be found at doorastronomy.org. You must be a member of DPAS to register.
DPAS hosts monthly meetings and viewing nights at its facility just off Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay. The next viewing night is scheduled for April 14 and the public in encouraged to attend.
“Eye On the Night Sky” is a monthly column by the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society. For more information on the organization, visit DoorAstronomy.org.