Astronomy on Tap, and star parties this week

Star party season continues and Astronomy on Tap is back with its monthly gathering in a busy week of astronomy events.

AoT watches Cosmos

Astronomy on Tap June 2016Astronomy on Tap Seattle this month is Cosmos on tap. They’ll watch episode 4, “Heaven and Hell,” of the original Carl Sagan series at Hilliard’s Beer Taproom in Ballard beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 29. The evening’s festivities will include trivia contests based on the show, and astronomers will be on hand to discuss what has changed in the science since the original program first aired in 1980. Astronomy on Tap Seattle is organized by astronomy graduate students at the University of Washington, who prove each month that astronomy and beer is a great combination. Buy the official AoT mug and get discounted brew. Get there early or bring your own chair; the event typically draws more people than Hilliard’s has seats.

Star parties

Seattle Astronomical SocietySeveral years back the Seattle Astronomical Society started holding star parties around Labor Day at Brooks Memorial State Park near Goldendale. The event proved so popular they’re now doing it twice per summer, and this week marks the first. Club members will gather at the park, which has outstanding dark skies, from Thursday, June 30, through Monday, July 4. This is a members-only event; what better time to join the SAS? The second Goldendale star party is set for Sept. 1-5.

Olympic Astronomical SocietyOlympic Astronomical Society has been hosting summer star parties at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park south of Port Angeles for 19 years. The first of this year is set for this Saturday, July 2 at the ridge. They’ve also planned star parties for July 30, August 6, and September 3 at Hurricane Ridge. The events are free and open to the public.

Up in the sky

Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn all remain great observing targets. The Sky This Week from Astronomy magazine and This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope have more observing highlights for the week. Follow our calendar for updates on local events, including planetarium shows from Willard Smith Planetarium at Pacific Science Center and the Pacific Planetarium in Bremerton.