Challenger celebrates World Space Week with stargazing
On Oct. 6, the Challenger Space Center will host a stargazing event in celebration of World Space Week for $7 per person.
Tony LaConte, a stargazing professional, will give a presentation at the event. Telescopes will be available, weather permitting.
LaConte has been stargazing since 1953 and has taught others about stargazing for more than 40 years.
“The night sky is like my backyard,” LaConte said in an e-mail interview. “I know where every little bush and plant is. I know the stars and constellations by name, where they are and their history.”
The event is open to everyone, including high school students.
“I think [people] walk away with a little more knowledge about the sky, the history behind some of the discoveries and just maybe they will go outside in their backyard and stargaze,” LaConte said.
Interest in space is not a necessity when star gazing.
“Stargazing brings us back to a more simpler time when there were not calendars or books,” LaConte said.
World Space Week runs from Oct. 4-10 every year since it was declared by the United Nations in 1999.
“[It was created as] a celebration of peaceful uses of outer space and [to] inspire students throughout the world to take an interest in science and math and, pardon the pun, look up to the stars,” LaConte said.
The Challenger Space Center opened up a new exhibit on Oct. 5 called “They Came From Outer Space” about meteorites and the science fiction show Meteorite Men. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
“Not everyone can be a rocket scientist or an astro-biologist, but we can all walk outside and look up,” LaConte said.