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Fresh Sheet – March 7, 2020

If you’re a fan of giant butterflies that resemble owl eyes, then this week’s shipment of pupae from Suriname is just what you need.

The Science and Art of Scents

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PacSci Podcast: Summer Stargazing

by | Aug 7, 2019

Stargazing

Are you enjoying mid-summer weather here in the Pacific Northwest? Temps into the 90s are wonderful…or miserable, depending on your point of view. It’s the only time of the year where we can invite guests to cool off inside our Tropical Butterfly House. But there is another side to all the hot weather that we just love. Night time skies are usually clear and that means excellent sky watching.

Or is it stargazing?

Whatever you call it, Fatima Kamal who manages PacSci’s Willard Smith Planetarium says there’s a lot to see up there, especially the Perseids Meteor Shower.

“It’s going to be your best shot at seeing a high number of meteors coming into our atmosphere and also a few chances for some fireballs coming in which are those really bright ones that we can see.”

A Planetary Show

But shooting stars aren’t the only things putting on a celestial show this month. Some of our fellow planets are as well. Jupiter and Saturn in the southern sky, with Mercury low in the east just before sunrise.

Gazing at a dark sky full of twinkling lights is perhaps the greatest show on earth. A show humans have been marveling at for millennia. Something that connects us all.

“Looking up at the night sky is something that’s really connected us across cultures,” she says. “You can go to any culture anywhere in the world and we all have our stories related to the exact same things that we’re seeing up in the sky.”

So, make your own stories. Listen to this quick PacSci Podcast for some inspiration, then grab the family and/or friends and head out of the city for some excellent stargazing. If you need help, many of the local astronomical societies have events this month. Check our list of stargazing resources below. And above all else, be curious!

Resources:

PacSci’s Willard Smith Planetarium
Seattle Astronomical Society
Tacoma Astronomical Society
Everett Astronomical Society
University of Washington Planetarium

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Girl with flowers in her hair using a microscope

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