Have you ever wondered what's really out there in the night sky? Wished you could zoom in on cosmic marvels? What if you had a handful of astronomers at your elbow, showing the way, answering your questions in plain language?
That's a Focus Night at Robert Ferguson Observatory! These are small groups so you get plenty of scope time, and a chance to focus on - The MOON. The Moon is the Earth's nearest cosmic neighbor and the only place in the entire Universe, other than Earth, that has been walked upon by human beings. The Moon is covered in vast lava flows so large you can see them from Earth with the unaided eye. Ancient observers thought they might have been seas but we now know there is no water on the Moon. At least not in liquid form. The Moon is covered with craters but there are also features known as rilles, scarps, swirls and dark halos.
In this lunar presentation you will learn all about these features and then view them through the telescopes. You will also learn how the Moon directly effects life on Earth every day by controlling the tides, how the phases work, why we have eclipses and why we only ever see the side of the Moon that has The Man in it. You will discover what we know about the Moon and what mysteries have yet to be solved.
The program starts promptly at 7:00 PM. Please allow ample time for driving and parking.
Afterward, weather permitting, we will move to RFO's three main telescopes (an 8" refractor, a 40" reflector, and an RC20 20" CCD telescope) for a deeper exploration. Sales are limited to 30 guests so we can provide a more personal experience. You'll have plenty of time at the telescope eyepieces, and as always, the observatory will be staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers eager to show you the night sights, and answer any questions you may have.
The program begins promptly at 7:00 pm. Allow generous time to arrive and park.
$50.00 per adult, $45.00 for seniors (62+) and students, and $40 for members. Cost includes the Sugarloaf Ridge State Park parking fee.
You MUST have a ticket to attend this event. Attendance is limited. Please note that tickets are non-refundable and cannot be used for future events.
RFO is operated by the Valley of the Moon Observatory Association, a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization, and all of the proceeds will go towards maintaining this beloved Sonoma county institution.
The Valley of the Moon Observatory Association (VMOA) is volunteer amateur and professional astronomers plus a small supporting staff organized as a nonprofit association to provide educational programs about science and astronomy for students, the public, and in support of educators.
The VMOA is responsible for the construction, maintenance and utilization of the Robert Ferguson Observatory and functions as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the auspices of the California State Parks System, and in cooperation with our local state parks.
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