skytalk

Art exhibit shines light on the night sky



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UPDATE: Due to cloudy/rainy weather forecasts, the Association for Public Art and The Franklin Institute have rescheduled Planetarium on the Parkway. The stargazing party will now be Friday, October 12, at 8:30 p.m. As planned, Franklin Institute Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts will host.

The Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia is the place to be for a program called Planetarium on the Parkway. A large group of amateur astronomers will look at the night sky using huge spot lights that will be driven by Derrick Pitts’ voice from Eakin’s Oval. This is part of an art exhibit called Open Air. Some of the sights will include the main constellations of the summer sky and some from the autumn sky. However, there has been some controversy surrounding the program, because the spotlights could be construed as light pollution. Since Philadelphia has had an issue with seeing the night sky for over 100 years, these spotlights will not likely make a difference. Also, as we near a presidential election how will our manned space program change? Perhaps returning to the Moon, Mars or even an asteroid? There is a new possibility to create a lunar base in orbit 38,000 miles above the surface of the backside of the moon. This could be a stepping stone to going to Mars. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.

Photo Credit: Open Air Philly



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