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Michiana Star Party Speakers

The 2015 Michiana Star Party will feature four guest speakers on Saturday, May 16. Nick Schuck, Dr. Grant Mathews, David Fuller, and Therese Dorau will address telescope equipment, the evolving universe, the impact of light at night, and municipal sustainability.

Michiana Astronomical Society Inc. is partnering with Dr. TK Lawless Park in Vandalia, MI, for the park's Earth Day celebration on Saturday. Pre-registration for the overnight star party is encouraged and much appreciated by the event organizers.

The star party begins with telescopic observing that Friday evening, so the crowd usually rolls out of their tents and campers in the late morning on Saturday. The talks are open to the public, though there is a park entrance fee for daytime visitors and a registration fee for overnight stargazers.

The schedule is for the first talk by Nick Schuck to be at 11:00 a.m., followed by a lunch (or for all-night observers, breakfast) break. Dr. Mathews will get us underway again at 1:00 p.m. David Fuller will begin the 2:00 talk, with Therese Dorau speaking on the second half of the time slot. Here is the line-up awaiting park visitors and star party attendees.

Astro Gadgets

Nick Schuck

Description: New and exciting gear and gadgets are revolutionizing amateur astronomy. Come learn about gadgets for all levels of astronomy interest, beginner to experienced astrophotographer.

Nicolas Schuck is a member of the MAS and has been interested in the universe beyond earth since childhood. He works at Optec Inc., which makes a variety of equipment and instruments for astronomy, atmospheric visibility science, and microscopy. Nick also presents planetarium shows at the Roger B. Planetarium and is Vice President of the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association.

Future Sky

Dr. Grant Mathews

Decription: How our universe will change in the near and distant future.

Dr. Mathews is an astrophysicist and professor at University of Notre whose research interests involve the origin and evolution of matter in the universe from the first instants of cosmic expansion in the big bang to the present complex interactions of stars and gas in galaxies. Current research topics include the nature and origin of dark energy and dark matter.

The Power of Light

David Fuller

Description: The powerful effects of how blue wavelengths help to control the circadian rhythm, and that excess blue artificial light at night is having negative effects on our sleep and health.

David Fuller has supported amateur astronomy for years with his helpful series of timely observing videos Eyes on the Sky. He is currently building First Light Guides, which are designed to help anyone with a telescope 60mm and larger to find and observe objects in the night sky. David is always an advocate for dark skies, with his latest outreach being Sleep in the Dark, which connects the impact of poorly implemented light to sleep disorders and other related human health issues.

Balancing Equity, Environment, and Economy in South Bend

Therese Dorau

Description: The South Bend Office of Sustainability designs and implements projects and programs that bring environmental, social, and economic value to city government and to the community. Therese will describe the value of the “triple bottom line” at a municipal level and give an overview of the work of the Office.

Therese Dorau is the Director of South Bend’s Office of Sustainability. Formerly a consultant, Therese has extensive experience identifying opportunities for energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, and waste reduction in buildings. She has worked extensively with city and county governments, companies, and federal agencies to develop sustainability and energy programs.

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