Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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The Inwood Astronomy Project presents

The Galilean Nights
Festival in Inwood

Four hundred years since Galileo's telescopic observations revolutionised our view of the Universe, we all will once again be turning our attention to the heavens. People all around the world will be taking part in Galilean Nights activities on 22-24 October 2009 and experience for themselves the same sense of awe and wonder that Galileo must have felt. October will be a month-long celebration in Inwood/Upper Manhattan as a grand lead-up to the official and global event Galilean Nights (Oct. 22-24).

The United Nations declared 2009 as The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009), commemorating the 400th year since Galileo first pointed the telescope up to the sky and changed science forever!

Galilean Nights ( http://www.galileannights.org) is another 100 Hours of Astronomy. The first 100 Hours of Astronomy was early April and Inwood was involved with The Inwood Star Fest!! That event happened April 3 when Jason Kendall of The Inwood Astronomy Project worked with NYCParks on the historic Inwood Star Fest with lights out at Dyckman Fields! This time, we're making it a party!

  • The Uptown Planetarium Astronomy Lectures, Learn about the Hubble Space Telescope and the LCROSS Lunar Impact Mission. Free at The New York Public Library, Inwood Branch, October 3 and October 10 (1:00 PM)
  • The LCROSS Mission Impact Party, televising the spacecraft landing on the moon! At Indian Road Café, October 9 (early morning)
  • World Premiere of Minding the Heavens, Theatrical reading of a play about the famous astronomers, Caroline and William Herschel. Written by Dr. Mark Littmann. Free at The New York Public Library, Inwood Branch, October 17 (1:00 PM). Part of the IYA Cornerstone Project She Is an Astronomer
  • Shakespeare Saturdays Strollers and Soloists Free concert at The New York Public Library, Inwood Branch, October 24 (12:00 Noon). In addition to this fun concert, we are raffling off (for free!) a Galileoscope!
  • Live Street Theater done by the Shakespeare Saturdays Strollers, Renaissance-costumed performers meandering about Inwood in all your favorite haunts! What will they sing? Where will they be? Guess you gotta be out and about in Inwood to know! Featuring the Hit Song Up, Up, Up in the Sky by Donna Stearns and the Big Bangers: the official song of the International Year of Astronomy. (Digital downloads available on iTunes and CDBaby )
  • The Galilean Nights Festival Nights
    • Free Stargazing outside (weather-permitting)! Look through the telescope along with hundreds of thousands of other people from 135 participating countries.
    • Friday, October 23, 7:30 PM: The Baseball Diamonds at Inwood Hill Park.
    • Saturday, October 24, 7:30 PM: The Overlook Meadow in Inwood Hill Park. This is our location for cloudy night on Friday for the contest.
    • Saturday, October 31, 7:30 PM: Halloween Spooky Stars at the Baseball Diamonds at Inwood Hill Park.

About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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