Coloring the Universe on this week’s astro calendar

If you’ve ever wondered if the universe really looks like it does in those amazing photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories, you’ll want to attend this week’s meeting of the Seattle Astronomical Society. Travis Rector and Megan Watzke, two of the co-authors of Coloring the Universe: An Insider’s Look at Making Spectacular Images of Space (University of Alaska Press, 2015) will be the guest presenters at the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 16 in room A102 of the Physics/Astronomy Building on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. The pair will discuss the book and the process of converting raw data into astronomical images that amaze the public and inform scientists.

Astronomy on Tap views Cosmos

Cosmos on TapWatch Carl Sagan in the original Cosmos television series and enjoy a refreshing beer as Astronomy on Tap Seattle becomes Cosmos on Tap at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 15 at Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Company in Ballard. A guest presenter will introduce episode three of the series, and will discuss updates in the science since the series first aired; there’s been a lot of learning since 1980! AoT also features astronomy trivia contests, fun prizes, and plenty of time to talk with the scientists in attendance. This will be the tenth month for Astronomy on Tap Seattle, which is presented by graduate students in astronomy from the University of Washington. It’s free! You can RSVP or sign up for the Astronomy on Tap mailing list through the UW Astronomy website.

Star parties Saturday

saslogoThe Seattle Astronomical Society will host its regular, monthly free public star parties starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, December 19 at two locations: Green Lake in Seattle and Paramount Park in Shoreline. The star parties are dependent on good weather, and are cancelled in the event of rain or overcast. Watch the SAS website or Facebook page for updates.

Neptune and Uranus pass fairly close to the Moon this week, and Comet Catalina will be passing near Venus before dawn. The Sky This Week from Astronomy magazine and This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky and Telescope run down the observing highlights for the week.