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Programs provide chance to explore night skies

Union Leader Correspondent

August 04. 2014 7:34PM

PINKHAM NOTCH — In a partnership that celebrates the North Country’s dark skies, the Appalachian Mountain Club has joined with the Carthage College Institute of Astronomy to offer the public and budding astronomers alike an opportunity to get a close look at the many wonders overhead.

The partnership includes ongoing programs throughout the summer at AMC lodges and huts as well as the first-ever Mountains of Stars Amateur Astronomers Weekend, which will be held Oct. 24-26 at the AMC’s Highland Center in Bretton Woods.

A branch of Carthage College of Kenosha, Wisc., the Carthage Institute of Astronomy, according to the institute, “conducts research in astronomy and astrophysics ... offers courses in physics and astronomy, and delivers outreach and education programs.”

Astrophysicist Dr. Douglas Arion, who is the institute’s director, will also host the Mountains of Stars Weekend.

Also the Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the Entrepreneurial Studies Program at Carthage College, Arion is a celebrated telescope maker as well as a lifetime AMC member with a deep affinity for the White Mountains. He will be joined by some of his students for presentations at AMC lodges, during day, evening and weekend programs.

On Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Joe Dodge Lodge at the AMC Visitor Center in Pinkham Notch, Arion will give a presentation on the “intricate and fascinating connections between life on Earth and the history and phenomena of the universe around us,” with attendees learning about the formation of the solar system and the Earth.

The presentation will also be delivered at the Highland Center on Aug. 30, also at 7:30 p.m. Every Sunday during August, the Highland Center will hold a “locally-sourced” traditional barbecue dinner on the patio from 5 to 7 p.m. (a meal cost applies), followed by an evening of astronomy.


Daily through Aug. 22 at the Highland Center and Saturdays at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, astronomy student interns will speak about constellation identification, astronomical events such as meteor showers and eclipses, and offer participants the opportunity to use telescopes.Should the weather not cooperate, the activities will be conducted indoors and include discussion of topics including “dark-sky conservation,” constellations, and technology in astronomy.


Through Sept. 20, AMC naturalists will offer evening astronomy talks and, weather-permitting, telescope observations.For more information about AMC and Carthage College Institute of Astronomy programs, go online to

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