Star Watch Astronomy
On clear nights, the observatory roof is open with the 16-inch diameter telescope pointed skyward. Our astronomer explains what you are seeing and answers questions. On cloudy nights, we use a large screen LCD inside the Outdoor Center to take a simulated tour of the night sky and learn how to find some of the same highlights from your own backyards.
All events are rain or shine. Dress for being outside and in the weather. Bring your own binoculars if you want an added view. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.
The Staring Lake Observatory is located at the Staring Lake Outdoor Center. Each participant must register in advance or pay at the door (cash or check) if space is available. Individual or group programs are available. Call Stan Tekiela at 952-949-8479 for more information and to schedule your time at the observatory.
April 15: Mercury, Maybe
Venus should be easy and Mars is still around, but Mercury will be the challenge if skies are really clear. Astronomer: Paul Fusco
April 21: Leo, the King of Spring
The Lion climbs into the evening sky once again. Let’s explore some of his majesty’s stellar subjects. Astronomer: Ron Schmit
April 28: Following the Arc to Arcturus
Arcturus is the second brightest star in the northern sky and with the help of the Big Dipper, one of the most recognizable. Astronomer: Ron Schmit
May 26: The Galactic Pole
The North Star marks Earth’s North Pole in space, but this time of year we see the north pole of the Milky Way galaxy. Come find out what that means for our sky. Astronomer: Ron Schmit
May 27: A Half Moon? A Half Venus?
Get a detailed look at our Moon, then learn about the phases of Venus. Astronomer: Paul Fusco
June 10: How Do They Figure?
We hear differing claims about the size of our Sun or the distance to the Moon. How do we figure all this out? Astronomer: Paul Fusco
June 23: Geometry in the Sky – The Summer Triangle Rises
Along the eastern horizon, a triangle of stars heralds the return of the summer sky. Astronomer: Ron Schmit.
July 15: Look Deep into the Night Sky
Let’s take a look deep into space! Astronomer: Paul Fusco
July 21: The Milky Way Takes Center Stage
This month, the heart of our galaxy appears to the south – a treasure trove of wonders. Astronomer: Ron Schmit.
August 19: Earth Shine
You’ve heard of Moon shine; Let’s explore some Earth Shine tonight. Astronomer, Paul Fusco
August 25: It’s Globular Cluster Season
When it comes to telescopic wonders, globular clusters are some of the most spectacular. These dense “snowballs” of thousands of stars are plentiful in this month’s sky. Astronomer: Ron Schmit.
September 22: Here’s Your Sign
Though an ancient practice, astrology still fascinates. In fact, social media may provide it more exposure than ever. Is that a good thing? Astronomer: Ron Schmit