Friday, April 25, 2014
7:00 – 11:00 PM
Public Star Night at the Little Thompson Observatory, 850 Spartan Ave at Berthoud High School (park east of the high school; directions are posted on our website, www.starkids.org).
The speaker for this evening will be Dr. Roger Culver, professor of Astronomy at CSU in Fort Collins. The title of his talk is “The Past, Present, and Future History of a Small-Scale Astronomical Consortium.”
In 1995 the Global Network of Astronomical Telescopes (GNAT) was founded in Tucson, Arizona as a small-telescope consortium. This presentation traces the history of GNAT instrumentation, observations, discoveries and research projects up to the present time and our future plans in these areas.
Like many Colorado State University faculty members, astronomy Professor Roger Culver is not originally from the Fort Collins area. He was born in Utah and grew up in the deserts of Arizona and southern California. As a child, Culver knew exactly what he wanted when he grew up. “I wanted to be an astronomer,” Culver said. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the sky.”
Before arriving at CSU, Culver worked at 3M. “When I was at 3M, I was in the Duplicating Products Lab,” Culver said. “I worked with a team whose job was to make the copies that came out of the 3M copier white, as opposed to the brownish-amber color of the original copies.”
Culver came to CSU because he was interested in living in Colorado. “It was back in the day when it was pretty easy to get a job. I really wanted to come to Colorado as I had never been here before and heard lots of neat things about it,” he said. Culver received an offer from the chairman of CSU’s Math Stats Department, Les Madison, who wanted to bring in an astronomer.
“I feel so lucky to be doing this. The thing I love most about being a professor is the freedom of motion to do what I have always loved to do in life: teach astronomy and do astronomical research,” Culver said. “Equally important is the opportunity to interact with energetic and enthusiastic individuals on their way up in life.”
Culver has received numerous awards including the Charles A. Lory Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching, College of Natural Sciences Teacher of the Year, and the CSU Greek Community Outstanding Faculty Award. “Probably the best accomplishment was when I received the Lory Award,” Culver said.
Professor Culver got a B.A. degree from the University of California-Riverside (1962), and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University (1971).
The observatory doors will open at 7:00 pm and the presentation will start at 7:30 pm. Weather permitting after the presentation, visitors will be invited to look through our large telescopes at various celestial objects.
Public star nights at LTO are held the third Friday of each month (except shifted this month due to the Easter holiday, and July when we are closed for annual maintenance). No reservations are necessary for these nights. Just come and join us for the talk and some observing afterwards.
If you have any questions, please call the observatory information line at 970-613-7793 or check the LTO web site at: www.starkids.org 
Public Star Nights at the Pioneer Museum, 224 Mountain Avenue in Berthoud, home of the historical 6” Brashear Refractor from John Bunyan, are held on the first Friday of each month. If you have any questions, please call the Bunyan observatory information line at 970-532-2147 or check the web site at: http://www.berthoudhistoricalsociety.org/bunyan.htm