“In a nutshell, the universe is 13.7 billion years old, plus or minus one percent; a recent previous estimate had a margin of error of three times as much. By weight it is four percent atoms, 23 percent dark matter—presumably undiscovered elementary particles left over from the Big Bang—and 73 percent dark energy. And it is geometrically ‘flat,’ meaning that parallel lines will not meet over cosmic scales. The result, the astronomers said, is a seamless and consistent history of the universe, from its first few seconds, when it was a sizzling soup of particles and energy, to the modern day and a sky beribboned with chains of pearly galaxies inhabited by at least one race of puzzled and ambitious bipeds.”
—Dennis Overbye, writing about a map of the universe compiled by a satellite called the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (New York Times, February 12, 2003)
Don’t forget the Star Party at Rogers Fort Hill Park on Thursday, November 4.
Rescheduled to Thursday, November 4, 2010, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Join the Friends of Rogers Fort Hill Park and the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club for a free telescopic tour of the night sky atop Fort Hill. Discover the stars, planets, and maybe catch a glimpse of a comet!
To attend this free event, please contact us by November 1 at www.forthillpark.org or call (978) 454-4326. For more information about the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club (NSAAC), please visit www.nsaac.org.
To ensure better dark sky viewing, please park your car at the base of Fort Hill – there’s plenty of street parking around the park off of Rogers Street. Walk to the top of Fort Hill for the party. We’ll provide a drive to the top for anyone who may need it. Bring a flashlight, dress warmly, and wear comfortable shoes.
Bring binoculars if you have them. If you have your own telescope, feel free to arrive early to set up on Fort Hill with NSAAC members. Coffee, cider, and cookies will be provided. There are no restrooms at the park.