Aspen Snowmass and Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) will host the fourth annual Stars Above Aspen event atop Aspen Mountain on Monday, Aug. 12 from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The Silver Queen Gondola will be open late for a community astronomy night featuring a STARLAB planetarium tent, guided telescope stations, interactive presentations from Fiske Planetarium Director John M. Keller, sunset yoga with Aspen Shakti, legends and facts of the constellations, celestial crafts and games, star storytelling, space-themed face painting, a collaborative mural of the universe, physics experiments, and more.
“We are so excited to partner again with Aspen Snowmass on this annual community astronomy event at 11, 212 feet above sea level,” says Phebe Meyers, ACES Naturalist Field School Manager. “For three years, this experience has offered the opportunity to explore the universe with astronomy experts and enthusiasts, expanding listener’s horizon of knowledge. We are thrilled to continue hosting this community event, as ACES celebrates 50 years of educating for environmental responsibility, and this includes the universe!”
Scheduled events include a sunset yoga class for all ages from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. led by Jayne Gottlieb, owner of the Aspen Shakti yoga studio. At 8:15 p.m., Fiske Planetarium Director John M. Keller, Ph.D. will present on Minor Planets – Storied Songs of Solar System Minstrels. While the eight major planets have bullied other planetary worlds out of their celestial neighborhoods, countless minor planets have storied pasts to share about the formation of our early Solar System and its subsequent evolution. Join planetary scientist Dr. John Keller on an exploration of trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), including Chariklo, a Centaur with rings, and 2014MU69, a contact binary in the Kuiper Belt visited earlier this year by the NASA New Horizons spacecraft.
Ever since his summer internship with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) back in 1997, Dr. John Keller has identified as a naturalist of the universe. He received his PhD from the University of Arizona in planetary science with an emphasis in astronomy education research. He has taught astronomy to middle school, high school, and college students for over three decades, and is passionate about sharing the wonder and awe of our cosmos with the public. Keller is currently the Director of Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado Boulder, the largest full dome planetarium facility between Chicago and Los Angeles.
In addition, the Sundeck Restaurant will be open for drinks and dinner. Guests should be prepared for evening mountain temperatures. A blanket for star-gazing and plenty of layers are highly suggested. The event is open to all ages. Tickets cost $15 and include the gondola ride. Children three and under are free. Season passes are not accepted for this special event. Tickets can be purchased online ataspensnowmass.com/while-you-are-here/events/stars-above-aspen or at any lift ticket office. Prior to the event, tickets can be picked up at any time. For more information, please call 970-923-1227 or visit the Aspen Mountain Ticket Office.
Date: Monday, August 12, 2019
Time: 6:00 – 10:30 p.m.
Venue Name and Address: Sundeck on Aspen Mountain (access via the Silver Queen Gondola)
RSVP and more information at aspennature.org/classes/stars-above-aspen.