Reach for the stars with local astronomer

Are you a fan of Cosmos or StarTalk, the popular astronomy shows hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the National Geographic Channel?

If so, or if not, come out for some local star talks and viewing of the cosmos at Rush Ranch Open Space where the Rush Ranch Educational Council rushranch.net will host a free, live series about the stars. The first one is on Friday, May 18.

Rush Ranch Open Space is off the grid and a great place to see the huge night sky. Because of the generosity of donors and visionaries, we have areas in Solano County with less light pollution, and Rush Ranch is one of those special places. Just before dark, Pannier will give a brief program in the Nature Center in which the stars are the limit. Then you and your friends and family can stargaze through telescopes set-up for viewing outside. If you’re not familiar with telescopes and don’t have one of your own, there will be astronomy fans willing to share their knowledge and help to guide your viewing.

Stargazing 2018 topics & schedule:

Friday, May 18, 8 p.m.

• Learn the difference between an emission and a planetary nebula, and a galactic and globular cluster, all of which are night-sky objects you will see throughout the year.

Friday, June 8, 8:30 p.m.*

• How did our solar system form? Why are the gas-giant planets so far out and the rocky planets closer to the sun? Learn more about the planets in our solar system.

Friday, July 13, 8:30 p.m.*

• Double feature: The SETI Institute has studied the origin and nature of life in the universe for two decades and hasn’t yet found any aliens. What’s the latest with that? Also, beginners can learn tips on how to view a night sky with binoculars or a small telescope.

Friday, Aug 10, 8 p.m.

• Let’s talk about our home in the universe. How do galaxies form? How does our galaxy stack up to others? Why is our galaxy called the Milky Way?

Friday, Sept 7, 7:30 p.m.

• Update on star news and what to look forward to in the sky in coming months, followed by open Q & A.

*Doors open at 8 p.m. for questions and a casual discussion about astronomy and space exploration.

Telescopes will be provided when it gets dark. If you have your own telescope or binoculars, feel free to bring them.

To protect the night vision of viewers, participants are asked to cover flashlights with red cellophane. If you arrive late, please dim your headlights.  See you under the stars!

For more information contact Jon Pannier <jonpannier@aol.com> or Mary at (707) 422-4491.