The Autumnal Equinox has just passed us, but Fall Astronomy Day is quickly approaching. What does this mean? That this week is Fall Astronomy Week!
This Saturday is Fall Equinox Day, a celebration set up in 2007 to compliment Astronomy Day. Astronomy Day was started in California in the spring of 1973 by Doug Berger, the president of the Astronomical Association. He had telescopes set up in urban areas so that people could enjoy the skies in greater detail, allowing people who had never looked through a telescope to observe the stars for themselves.
The dates of the Astronomy Days change from year to year, but always fall on the Saturday closest to the first quarter moon of the season. This year, the first quarter moon happens on October first. Astronomy day is on the fourth and the week encompasses them both.
Since the start of Astronomy Day, an interest in the skies has captivated amateurs across the nation and beyond. Every year, multiple events are sponsored by schools, astronomical associations, and museums in honor of the tradition. So, direct your attention upwards, and enjoy the beauty that is the night sky.
To get started, check out stargazing weather predictions: http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/sioux-city-ia/51105/astronomy-weather/328806
For further reading, look for:
Heart of Darkness: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe by Jeremiah P. Ostriker and Simon Mitton
Highlights in Astronomy by Fred Hoyle
The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide by Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer
Rosenberg, Marissa, et al. "Why Is Astronomy Important?." (2013): arXiv. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.
Jennings, Karen. "Why Gen X And Y Should Care About Astronomy." Astronomy 39.2 (2011): 54. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.