Join us at Starlight Festival - Yerkes Observatory

Starlight Festival 2018

Yerkes Observatory - Williams Bay, WI

Memorial Day Weekend

This year's Starlight Festival will be held at the historic Yerkes Observatory, Saturday May 26th and Sunday May 27th.  This is a FREE event, open to the public.  Bringing together a community of scientists, writers, outreach volunteers and proponents of science and astronomy education with the leading retailers and manufacturers of telescopes, cameras, microscopes and science tools and toys this Festival is all about the importance of science in our every day lives, and continued advancements in education.   This year the event celebrates the 150th birthday of George Ellery Hale designer of the massive 40" refractor at Yerkes.  This beautiful observatory located in the stunning Lake Geneva area of Wisconsin was founded in 1897 and has been operated by the University of Chicago.  The college's funding for Yerkes may be at an end this year however and this could be a final chance to see the observatory up close.   In-depth tours of Yerkes, housing the world's largest refractor telescope, will be available during the festival.

Woodland Hills Camera & Telescopes is sponsoring featured speaker Dr. Linda Spilker, JPL Project Scientist for Cassini, at this year's Starlight Festival.   Launch in October 1997, Cassini spent two decades travelling through our solar system studying the fascianting planet of Saturn and in that time revealed only a small portion of all we had to learn.  That mission ended when the Cassini probe collided with Saturn in September 2017, sending invaluable data to NASA scientists about the ringed planet in it's final weeks.   Now that the mission has concluded, JPL and NASA scientists have processed the immense amount of data gathered uncovering previously unknown information.   Dr. Spilker will be discussing the incredible findings that the millions of gigabytes of data collected has revealed to us about Saturn, our solar system and the ongoing search for life beyond Earth.

Other speakers at this year's festival include Dr. Seth Shostak and his search for extraterrestrial life, Samual D. Hale on the legacy of his grandfather the late George Ellery Hale who designed and oversaw the building of some of our nation's largest telescopes including the massive 40 inch refractor at Yerkes, discussions of astronomy outreach with Kosovo's Pranvera Hyseni, MIT Physics graduate and author Marcia Bartusiak on the history and breakthroughs of astronomy and physics, Astronomy Magazine editor David Eicher on the importance of science literacy, and a live feed from Mt. Wilson Observatory with telescope operator Thomas Meneghini.

The Starlight Festival is an event to highlight science, robotics and astronomy literacy, education and research.  This begins with our youth and showing them that science can be a fun and fascinating hobby or profession.  STEM activities and hands on projects will be there for kids of all ages to join in on.  Joining speakers at this year's show is Physicist Jerry Zimmerman, also known as Mr. Freeze, who will be demonstrating the "super cool" properties of Cyrogenics!   His entertaining and amazing show is fun for the entire family.    Science touches so many aspects of our lives including the Arts.   The festival welcomes space artist Carlos Hernandez and live music.

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