East Haven Coffee Shop To Host Astronomy Night on January 24th – East Haven, CT Patch

EAST HAVEN, CT - Break out the binoculars and take out the telescope The Astronomical Society of New Haven is bringing their wide range of viewing equipment and knowledge to East Haven's organic cafe One World Roasters on the evening of Friday January 24th at 6:30 p.m. for a winter sky viewing session open to all.

"The mission of our society is to bring interest to the general public about the topic of astronomy," says Al Washburn, member at large and former president of the Astronomical Society of New Haven.

The retired North Branford High School science teacher of 38 years speaks with an inexhaustible passion of the special sights guests can expect to see on this particular night. "One of the best objects to see in the sky is in the cold winter months and hopefully it will be a good, clear evening and we'll be taking a look at that," he says.

Washburn speaks of the Orion Nebula, a giant hydrogen gas cloud and one of the most photographed objects in the sky. "You can actually see it with your naked eye if you know where to look for it, but collecting more light from it with the mirror of a telescope will allow you to see the magnificent Orion Nebula," he says.

The evening's other astronomical attractions include an ideal view of the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, a potential glimpse of the Andromeda Galaxy, and a great number of open star clusters, which Washburn describes as "diamonds and sprinkled on a black velvet napkin."

As for the Society's choice of location, Washburn concedes that the proximity to coffee shop is a definite perk, but also mentions the unique elevation of the viewing site. "It has a nice low Eastern Horizon so we will be pointing our telescopes mostly to the East and South East to see the constellations of the wintertime as they take their positions above our skies," he says.

If you are new to the world of astronomy, telescopes, and viewing sessions, fear not, as the members of the society will be happy to assist all first time attendees. "People can expect just to walk over to a particular telescope, most everybody says "Hi, welcome, it's good to see you," and the person running the telescope will say what is inside the view so that they'll know what to look for when they look inside," Washburn says.

The former Astronomical Society president does have one request for first time stargazers "I would ask those who are arriving to bring a pair of binoculars," Washburn says. "There is an excellent star cluster called M 45 (also known as Pleiades or The Seven Sisters) and it is easily seen with the naked eye but in a pair of very simple binoculars it is magnificent," he adds.

Society members also encourage new telescope owners to bring their equipment for friendly tutorials and instruction on how to properly use their viewing tools.

One World Cafe will open at 6:30 p.m. on Friday January 24th and the viewing will begin at 7:00. "Astronomy is a fun science and everyone has a front row seat and you can do it with a pair of binoculars," Washburn says.

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East Haven Coffee Shop To Host Astronomy Night on January 24th - East Haven, CT Patch

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