Australian astronomer to life the night sky from down under

By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW

The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) and the San Juan Stargazers welcome Australian astronomer Dr. Andrew Green, who will be giving talks open to the public in both July and August.

Green is in America to visit his mother, Nancy Green, a longtime CRIA member and to see the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. He will speak at a special meeting on Tuesday, July 18, at 7 p.m. at 2800 Cornerstone Drive, Unit 3 (across from Sears).

He describes his talk as follows: In Australia, we still stand on our feet, but the sky is turned on its head — Orion is upside down, half the constellations are missing and aboriginals make constellations out of the dark parts of the sky rather than the stars.

He will give an overview of Aboriginal culture and connections with the night sky. Then we’ll see how different the southern sky is, and why it is of interest to modern astronomers.

He will speak again on Aug. 15, when he will continue with why the southern sky is of interest, especially related to galactic evolution, which is his research specialty at the Australian Astronomical Observatory near Sydney. These programs are free and everyone is invited. He has a special way of making astronomy understandable to all.

We need to start preparing for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There will be about 80 percent of totality in Pagosa.

Chimney Rock will have a memorable program that day. In addition, the San Juan Stargazers have the special viewing glasses that are absolutely necessary for safe viewing without permanent eye damage, available to the public for free or a donation to our scholarship fund. You will be able to pick up glasses at both talks, at Life At Chimney Rock on July 22 and 23, and there will be limited times at the library, with dates given in our August article.

The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs all over the U.S. We have a website, as well as an email address, and a club phone number, 335-8286.

We encourage anyone interested in learning more about our amazing universe to come to our events. We hope to see you.

This story was posted on July 13, 2017.