Beer and art with your astronomy

This week’s busy Seattle Astronomy calendar includes a new opportunity to mix astronomy and beer, the opening of a spacey art exhibit, and several club events.

Astronomy and beer

PubSciWe’ve been enjoying Astronomy on Tap Seattle for about a year now—in fact, it will celebrate its first birthday March 23—and now there’s another opportunity to enjoy your favorite beverage with your favorite hobby. Pacific Science Center will host one of its PubSci events at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 2 at Hilliard’s Beer Taproom in Ballard. Matt Tilley, a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Astrobiology Program, will give a talk titled, “The Magnetospheres Of Solar System Planets And Beyond.” Tilley will explain how planetary magnetic fields can be used to explore things light years away and how this matters for the search for life on exoplanets.

Hilliard’s will donate one dollar to the Pacific Science Center for every beer sold at the event, so drink up for a good cause.

Coincidentally enough, Astronomy on Tap is also held in Ballard, at Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Company. This may well make Ballard the astronomy and beer capital of the world. Or at least of Seattle.

Art on the Moon

NASA photo.

NASA photo.

An out-of-this-world art exhibit will open with a gala party at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at King Street Station in Seattle. Vital 5 Productions cooked up the idea for the Giant Steps exhibition and contest to challenge students, artists, engineers, architects, designers, and other space enthusiasts to imagine and propose art projects on the surface of the Moon. The one deemed best by a panel of judges will be worth $10,000 to its creator.

Tickets to the opening are $25 and are available online. The organizers suggest your shiniest costumes, though space helmets are optional. If you can’t make the big shindig, you can see the exhibit for $10 from noon until 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during March.

Planetariums this week

Pacific Planetarium in Bremerton will present its First Friday Sky Walk show this Friday, March 4, running every half hour between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The show takes a look at what objects will be visible in the night sky during the month. Tickets are $3 and are available online or at the door. For those coming from the east side of the sound, the planetarium is less than a mile from the Bremerton ferry terminal.

The Willard Smith Planetarium at Pacific Science Center has a full slate of shows for a variety of ages on Saturdays and Sundays. Check their calendar, or ours, for the schedule. Planetarium shows are $3 in addition to regular Science Center admission.

Astro club events

It’s a busy week for area astronomy clubs.

The Eastside Astronomical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29 at the Willard Geer Planetarium at Bellevue College. Patricia Terhune-Inverso, longtime EAS member and astronomy instructor at the college, will demonstrate how she uses the planetarium to teach her daily classes. The Eastside Astronomical Society started out as Friends of the Planetarium back in the early 1970s. Check out the interesting history article on the club’s website.

SpokaneThe monthly meeting of the Spokane Astronomical Society will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 in the planetarium in Science Building #28 at Spokane Falls Community College. Program details had not been published as of this writing.

The monthly meeting of the Tacoma Astronomical Society will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 in room 175 of Thompson Hall at the University of Puget Sound. We didn’t have information about the program as of this writing.

taslogoTacoma also will hold one of its free public nights at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Fort Steilacoom campus of Pierce College. There will be a presentation about binocular astronomy and, weather permitting, astronomers and telescopes will be ready to observe the night sky.

Up in the sky

Jupiter is nearing opposition and so now is a good time to observe the largest of the planets and its Galilean moons. The Moon passes close to Saturn on Wednesday. The Sky This Week from Astronomy magazine and This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope have other observing highlights for the week.