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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

LTO April 2017 Star Night


Public Star Night – Friday, April 21 2017

Doors Open 7:00 p.m. – Guest Speaker: 7:30-8:30  p.m. – Observing: 8:30 – 10:00 p.m. 


The guest speaker is Dr Gordon MacAlpine, and the title of his presentation is “Earth’s Climate Past, Present, and Back to the Future”

This public talk, supplemented with visual aids, is intended for a general audience. We will examine changing climatic conditions on Earth, from its origin just over 4.5 billion years ago to the present.

In astronomy, we employ telescopes to look out into space and back in time to view the Universe as it existed in the past. We can then use the past to extrapolate into the future in order to understand how the Universe’s overall “climate” will continue to cool over time. With the Earth, we can also use past atmospheric and associated climate conditions to envision where the present rapidly-changing composition of the atmosphere may be leading us. As we take such a look “back to the future,” the Earth will still be here, but it will probably be significantly altered.

The speaker is Dr. Gordon MacAlpine a retired astronomer, physicist and a member of the EVAS club. He received a BA in physics from Earlham College and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin. After a stint at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, he joined the faculty at the University of Michigan where he was a Professor of Astronomy until 2000. Then he accepted the Zilker Distinguished Professor of Physics chair at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, where he continued teaching astronomy, physics, and environmental science until his retirement in 2012. Gordon and his wife, Barbara, recently moved to Estes Park.

Weather permitting after the presentation, visitors will be invited to look through the large telescope at various celestial objects. Public star nights are held the third Friday of each month, except July, when the LTO is closed for annual maintenance.

No reservations are necessary for these nights. Just come and join us for the talk and some observing afterward.

If you have any questions, please call the observatory information line at 970-613-7793
or check the LTO web site at

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