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Hosted by the AstronomyOutreach network, the inaugural StarLight Festival is a unique celebration of science and astronomy that is set to launch on Memorial Day weekend under the stunning skies of Big Bear Lake, California.
Free and open to the public, this annual event will educate and entertain attendees of all ages in an engaging atmosphere of music and art through hands-on experiences, presentations by a range of world-renowned scientists and space explorers, interactive exhibits and spectacular observing sessions.
“The StarLight Festival was created by the AstronomyOutreach network to introduce astronomy and science to the general public. Astronomy is one of the roots of science, and observational astronomy performed in a public setting allows people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities to gain greater scientific literacy,” said Scott Roberts, founder of the AstronomyOutreach network. “When people use their own eyes on a telescope, it opens their minds and hearts to exploring the universe for themselves from a perspective that is rarely experienced.”
Although the true stars of the event will be found in the eyepieces of shared telescopes of all designs and sizes, the festival will feature a diverse slate of speakers for its debut year. The list of presenters includes U.S. Astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave; NASA/JPL’s Dr. Linda Spilker, who is the Project Scientist for the Cassini Mission to Saturn; Dr. Seth Shostak, who is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute; and famed comet discoverer Dr. David Levy.
The event also will feature a STEM zone full of demonstrations and projects that will connect children with science, an exhibit space where major manufacturers will showcase the latest in astronomy and science-related gear, day and night observing opportunities and a wealth of door prizes.
Sponsored by Pepsi, the StarLight Festival is presented in partnership with the 46th Annual Riverside Telescope Makers Conference (RTMC), which will be happening concurrently nearby, and the Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO-NJIT), which will provide exclusive tours during the two-day event.
Established in 2000, the AstronomyOutreach Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting public outreach in astronomy and space science.