Did you get a telescope or binoculars for Christmas? Have questions on how they work or how to get started using them? Join two experienced observers and planetarium directors on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. at the Versant Power Astronomy Center to get started on your celestial journey. Shawn Laatsch and John Meader will guide participants on how binoculars and telescopes work, ways to set them up, and how to find objects in Maine’s night sky. They will share a variety of resources for stargazing from books to websites to apps and more. Bring your binoculars and telescopes with you, and weather permitting we will set up outside and do observing following the presentation.
John Meader is the owner and director of Northern Stars Planetarium, a portable planetarium business that has served Maine schools for over 30 years. He is an avid sky observer, astro-photographer, and Registered Maine Guide. Meader serves as the vice president for Dark Sky Maine — a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the night skies. He loves canoeing, hiking, and the outdoors. Meader is also a UMaine grad who got his start as student director of the old planetarium in Wingate Hall in 1979.
Shawn Laatsch is director of the Versant Power Astronomy Center at the University of Maine. He has over 30 years of experience in planetariums and sharing the night sky with people of all ages. He built his first telescope in 1985 for observing Haley’s Comet. Laatsch is a former president of the International Planetarium Society and currently serves as treasurer for Dark Sky Maine.
Tickets are $10 a person. Tickets may be purchased online, or by phone at 207.581.1341.