The guest speaker for this public star night will be our own volunteer and board member John Ensworth. The title of his presentation is “The Star of Wonder”.
THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM FASCINATES.
The nature of the star has been lost in history, confused by the passage of time. For millennia, believers, scoffers and the curious have wondered at the Biblical account of the Star. The Bible recounts unusual or even impossible astronomical events at Christ’s birth. For many doubters, the account of the Star is easily dismissed as myth. For many believers, it is a mystery accepted on faith. And yet, the question of the nature of the Star of Bethlehem is of such interest to religion, to history, to science and philosophy, that we really cannot dismiss the mystery. Indeed, we can turn to each of these disciplines for assistance in our search for the nature of the star.
John will show us the possible origin of this phenomenon using various historical timelines and current modern day techniques to attempt to solve the mystery.
John Ensworth is currently the Principal Investigator of the NASA SMD Independent Education Product Review at the IGES, which is a non-profit organization formed, in part, to conduct independent reviews on all Earth and space science education products produced by or created for NASA (www.strategies.org). His position is the one responsible for conducting these reviews and helping with NASA education and outreach efforts through the Web (video.strategies.org) and at large education conferences (i.e. NSTA, NCTM, and the ASP) that introduce the products that are scientifically accurate and appropriate for the educational audience they are intended for. In the 90’s Mr. Ensworth was a masters’ student and a PhD candidate in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. He earned undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy, and geography and meteorology with an emphasis in math and computer science.
You can view a Webcam of his backyard observatory (Cherrywood Observatory) in Longmont by searching for weather in Longmont at Weather Underground http://www.wunderground.com/  under Webcam links or at http://bikerjohn.com/webcam_page1.htm .
Weather permitting after the presentation, visitors will be invited to look through the large telescope at various celestial objects. The Public Star Nights are usually held the third Friday of each month, except July, when we are closed for annual maintenance.
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