There's a new website in town that features astronomy education and public outreach in South Bend's sesquicentennial year. SouthBendAstro.org bundles together dedicated web pages for Scope Out South Bend, Skynet Junior Scholars, Local Astro, and the Sept. 27 Total Lunar Eclipse.
The website was initiated by Dr. Kate Rueff to display the instructions and maps for Scope Out South Bend, an SB150 challenge for individuals and families to seek out urban features within South Bend that have clues that can only be viewed with a telescope. Winners can receive a telescope and up to $150.00.
Piggybacking on SouthBendAstro.org is a page for Skynet Junior Scholars (SJS). With SJS, youths explore how telescopes work, then access a global network of research-grade telescopes from online to take and to process celestial images. The inaugural team of local students is dubbed SB150 Young Astronomers, with more groups to follow.
Local Astro lists organizations in Michiana that do cool stuff in astronomy that is accessible to the public. Here you can find clubs and facilities, with a Michiana calendar of astro events coming soon.
Under the Local Astro menu is a link to the Sept. 27, 2015, total lunar eclipse. This event happens at favorable viewing hours, so I encourage you to get together with some friends for a summer evening under the stars with a celestial spectacle overhead. Science begins with observing, so do so.