PINHEAD: STARGAZE WITH AN ASTRONAUT

HUDFThe mysteries of the night sky and Earth’s place in the cosmos have always been a source of wonderment for people who cast their eyes skyward. Yet as compelling and fascinating as the motion of heavenly bodies might be, understanding how it all works is not intuitive.

To help unravel cosmic mysteries, under the able guidance of Astronomer Dr. Christopher Crockett of the US Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, Pinhead Institute, in collaboration with Telluride Education Foundation’s “We R-1,” hosts a two-evening stargazing event to bring our community together under the stars to learn a little astronomy, while enjoying one another’s company.

Stargazing of the celestial (as opposed to the kind the paparazzis favor) kind takes place Thursday, January 17, and Friday, January 18, 6-7:30 p.m. at two different locations.

On Thursday, stargazing with the aid of provided telescopes happens at the bottom of Lift 7, with a short indoor presentation in the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Clubhouse just before heading outside.

The Friday installment is at the home of Mary and Gary Page, 435 Highway 145 (past the cemetery, second left).

During both evenings, refreshments will be sold to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness.

“The Pinhead Institute is always excited to have Dr. Crockett visit,” said executive director Sonchia Jilek. “Dr. Crockett’s knowledge of all things astronomy is truly astonishing. His presentations always leave people feeling somewhat mind-boggled.”

Dr. Crockett is a seasoned astronomer who currently conducts research on the birth and evolution of planetary systems in our galaxy. He wowed audiences in the past at the Pinhead Institute’s Summer Stargazing Series and as a Pinhead Punk Series Scientist. Dr. Crockett will also be visiting the Telluride area as part of Pinhead’s Scholar in the School program, during which he will visit classrooms to take students on a tour through space using dazzling pictures to help them fathom how far away stars are and how vast the universe really is.

“Telluride Education Foundation’s ‘We R-1’ is thrilled to join forces with the Pinhead Institute to bring this exciting and informative night to our community and exciting day to our schools,” said Mary Page of We R-1. “One of our goals this year, as a newly formed combined organization (TEF, Boosters and PTSO), is to reach out to ALL of our community. Our school system benefits and thrives from the involvement of everyone here in Telluride and our surrounding communities!“

Pinhead and We R-1 encourage people who plan to attend the event to dress warmly, as a clear sky generally means a cold night. The community is also encouraged to dust off and bring along its own telescopes. Experts will be on hand to help with set up and techniques for finding interesting sights in the winter night sky.

These events are free and open to the public, however donations will be accepted to help support and continue these special programs.

For more information and questions, please feel free to contact the Pinhead Institute at 970-708-7441 or visit us online at www.pinheadinstitute.org for additional details about all our initiatives.

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