Tag: Big Bear Solar Observatory

Big Bear’s Night Sky is the Star this Weekend

Big Bear Lake, CA, May 22, 2014 – The StarLight Festival comes to Big Bear Saturday and Sunday bringing a unique celebration of science and technology. Happening at the Northwoods Resort and Conference Center under the beautiful, clear Big Bear skies, people will be educated and entertained in an engaging atmosphere of music and art. Hours for this family friendly event are 10:00am – 11:00pm both days and will include a wide variety of exhibits, hands on activities, and free talks by world-renowned scientists and space explorers. Dr. Linda Spilker, the Project Scientist for the Cassini Mission to Saturn, Dr. Seth Shostak who is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, and Astronaut Story Musgrave will be among those making presentations. There will be an exhibit space where manufacturers will showcase the latest in astronomy and science related gear, a STEM zone full of projects and demonstrations that will get kids excited about science, and a wealth of door prizes. And of course there will be day and night observing opportunities through a number of telescopes of all designs and sizes. Sponsored by Pepsi, the Starlight Festival is presented in partnership with the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference and the Big Bear Solar Observatory, which will provide free tours on both Saturday and...

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The Big White Dome on the Lake

  Big Bear Lake, CA, February 1, 2014 – Have you ever wondered what that little white building with the big white dome on top is doing sitting on the north shore of our lake? It’s looking at the sun. The Big Bear Solar Observatory was built by the California Institute of Technology in 1969, but management of the BBSO was transferred to the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1997. The location is optimal due to the clarity of the sky and the presence of a body of water. At 6,742 ft above sea level, the observatory is above a significant portion of the atmosphere and the water provides a cooling effect on the air surrounding the building eliminating ground heat radiation waves that cause optical problems. The BBSO operates 4 telescopes. The main bulding houses the NST, which at 1.6 meters is the largest aperture solar telescope in the world. While it can only observe less than 10% of the sun at a time because of its high magnification, it tracks that portion from sunrise to sunset and is able to see features on the Sun less than 50km across. The small dome contains two telescopes. One looks at solar flares–and since this unit is able to see the whole sun, it acts as a “finder” for the NST, picking a target for the NST to observe. The...

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Solar Eclipse Scientist Makes Rare Appearance

Fawnskin, CA January 14, 2014 – On Thursday January 16th at 4:00pm, join guest speaker Jay Pasachoff, a Harvard educated Astronomer and leading scientist on solar eclipses, at the Big Bear Discovery Center for a stunning presentation of  “The Sun and Solar Eclipses”. “The Big Bear Observatory’s telescopes can observe the everyday surface of the Sun every time the sky is clear, but the solar corona, the faint outer atmosphere of the Sun, is visible from the Earth’s surface only during total solar eclipses,” explained Professor Pasachoff. He has observed 58 solar eclipses, 31 of them total, and will describe the recent experiences and how the eclipse observations are linked with ground-based and space-based observations to give the most complete information about our Sun. Join the Southern California Mountains Foundation and the Big Bear Solar Observatory in welcoming Professor Pasachoff, making this rare appearance at the Big Bear Discovery Center. This spectacular presentation will be open to the public. Admission is free but seating is...

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