Lowell Observatory Celebrates Earth Hour on March 29

Earth hour is a worldwide event held annually at the end of March. People are encouraged to turn off non-essential lights for one hour at 8:30 p.m. as a symbol of their commitment to the health of Earth.   The hope is that participants will be inspired to take action beyond the hour.

Light pollution affects the health of the planet and interferes with astronomers’ ability to study the universe.  Hands-on dark skies activities at the Lowell Earth Hour event will provide visitors with strategies for reducing light pollution and telescope viewing and stargazing activities will inspire guests to implement those strategies.

In celebration of Earth Hour 2014, Lowell Observatory will offer free admission from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Activities will include:

* Lights out 5 to 9:30 p.m.
All non-essential lights will be turned off between 5 and 9:30 p.m.

* Twilight talk at 6:30 to 7 p.m.  (Weather permitting)
Learn about atmospheric features that become visible as the Sun sets.

* Hands-on dark skies activities 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Learn tips for keeping our skies dark and find out how to measure sky brightness.

* Telescope viewing 7 to 9:30 p.m. (Weather permitting)
View planets, galaxies and other celestial objects.

* Sky Tonight (Earth Hour version) at 6 and 8 p.m.
Join us for a tour of the current night sky. This program explores the season’s constellations, bright stars, visible planets, deep sky objects and celestial highlights.  This special Earth Hour version features views of the sky with and without light pollution.

* Scanning the Skies: The Discovery Channel Telescope at 5, 6, 7, and 8 p.m.
This 42-minute Discovery Channel special documents the construction of Lowell’s cutting-edge, world-class telescope from conception to “first light” in 2012.

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