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‘Astronomical’ sightseeing

SH Public Library hosts astronomy event with space-center experts

Pictured+above+are+two+Long+Beach+residents%2C+Patricia+%28front%29+and+Arturo+Manjarrez%2C+looking+through+a+Schmidt+Cassegrain+telescope+on+Tuesday%2C+March+12%2C+at+Hilltop+Park+for+an+astronomy+event+hosted+by+the+Signal+Hill+Public+Library.
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‘Astronomical’ sightseeing

Pictured above are two Long Beach residents, Patricia (front) and Arturo Manjarrez, looking through a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope on Tuesday, March 12, at Hilltop Park for an astronomy event hosted by the Signal Hill Public Library.

Pictured above are two Long Beach residents, Patricia (front) and Arturo Manjarrez, looking through a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope on Tuesday, March 12, at Hilltop Park for an astronomy event hosted by the Signal Hill Public Library.

Photos by Joy Rowden | Signal Tribune

Pictured above are two Long Beach residents, Patricia (front) and Arturo Manjarrez, looking through a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope on Tuesday, March 12, at Hilltop Park for an astronomy event hosted by the Signal Hill Public Library.

Photos by Joy Rowden | Signal Tribune

Photos by Joy Rowden | Signal Tribune

Pictured above are two Long Beach residents, Patricia (front) and Arturo Manjarrez, looking through a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope on Tuesday, March 12, at Hilltop Park for an astronomy event hosted by the Signal Hill Public Library.

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Hilltop Park became the Griffith Observatory for Signal Hill at the City Public Library’s “Astronomy Night,” as experts brought telescopes from the Columbia Memorial Space Center for residents on Tuesday, March 12.

The event provided accessibility to local children and adults to learn more about the field of astronomy, the study of celestial objects.

“I would say it’s been about two years, [or] it might be three [years since the last astronomy night],” said Coral Rios, a library assistant. “[…] We have seen a lot of interest [and] we had a good turnout [at the past events]. If we can offer the same opportunity to patrons who can’t make the drive to Los Angeles then we [the Signal Hill Public Library] would like to bring the same opportunity to our city.”

As the event began at 6pm, and guests began to form lines to see through the telescopes, library organizers said they forgot to account for the “spring forward,” which made the event start an hour later than expected because of the sun’s brightness. As a result, the astronomers aligned their telescoped toward the moon, as that was the only visible object.

Pictured is Columbia Memorial Space Center astronomer Jared Head (left) assisting a child to see through a refracting telescope March 12 at Hilltop Park.

As the sun set, astronomers were able to provide the public with different views of the night sky.

“We saw views of the moon, a small and faraway planet Mars and the Orion Nebula M42,” said John Unkovich, founder and director of Columbia Astronomers, in an email to the Signal Tribune March 13. “The view [is very] faint due to city light pollution that greatly reduces our ability to see faint celestial objects. The planets are up in the early morning now. Later in [the] summer, Jupiter and Saturn will be up in the evening.”

People were able to witness the sunset as they waited in line. Young children ran around the premise of the park with excitement as their parents stood in line, bundled up to beat the windy and chilly weather.

One Long Beach family said they would like to see the Signal Hill Public Library host more astronomy nights.

Tatiana Hargrove, a Long Beach resident, said, “He [Hargrove’s husband] is really into astronomy, and we wanted to bring the kids to see [the sky through the telescopes]. It was nice for them [astronomers] to do it. It was fun and educational.”

Attendees lining up to look through the telescopes brought by the Columbia Memorial Space Center on March 12 at Hilltop Park for an astronomy event.

This was the first time the library held its astronomy night at Hilltop Park, and it was the first time with volunteers from the Columbia Memorial Space Center.

According to Charles Hughes, a librarian for the Signal Hill Public Library, the first astronomy event happened in 2015, and the previous one happened in 2016 at the old library building.

Astronomers gave the public an opportunity to look through telescopes and answered any questions they might have had. There were three different telescopes: Schmidt Cassegrain, Celestron Powerseeker 114EQ and a refracting telescope.

One telescope was brought by a resident of Long Beach, Ewa Enrique, who teaches science for the El Monte Union High School District.

“That’s my telescope from my classroom,” she said. “We have a school that does outreach to the community, so the only thing I needed to do was ask my principal if I could use it for other people, not just for school. He [principal] had no objection, so I grabbed it and brought it here, because I became involved with the Columbia astronomers.”

The Columbia astronomers helped Enrique learn how to set up her telescope, which she allowed the public to use to see the sky. Enrique said she would like to bring the telescope to more astronomy-related events.

Every third Saturday of the month, Columbia Astronomers meet up at the Columbia Memorial Space Center, 12400 Columbia Wy., at 7pm. There is no membership required, but donations are accepted to assist its programs. All ages are welcome. On Saturday, April 6, the Columbia Memorial Space Center will have its City of STEM Kickoff event on-site.

1 Comment

One Response to “‘Astronomical’ sightseeing”

  1. Gary on March 18th, 2019 6:19 pm

    I love the unknown I find it fascinating

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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‘Astronomical’ sightseeing