Hundreds attend Earth Month events sponsored by Astronomy

Events at Jeffers Petroglyphs and Andreas Observatory

March 27, 2024 |

Members of the astronomy faculty and students in the minor had a busy weekend 12-13 April hosting multiple events in coordination with campus Earth Month celebration. 

This year's Earth Month was extended from an Earth Week in previous years to accodomate increased offerings on and off campus.  Again, Astronomy co-hosted a public night in coordination with the Minnesota State Historical Society, Bell Museum, and the Jeffers Petroglyph site in Jeffers, MN. This prehistoric is unique in Minnesota as a reference for the indigenous peoples that populated the region for more than 7000 years.  At the event, a tour of the site was provided, a talk on indigenous star knowledge was presented by Steve Tamayo of the Omaha NE-based Bluebird Cultural Initiative, and night-sky viewing was hosted by Faculty Michael Rutkowski and MNSU student Justin Fuchs on Friday April 12. 

The following evening, the first Andreas Observatory was hosted with many students and staff in attendance: Emerita faculty Steve Kipp and Jim Pierce, Faculty Michael Rutkowski, Paul Eskridge and Jimmy Thorne, and students Lucas Rohl and John Mantor.  Though clouds forced a closure after only ~1 hour, the public was entertained by night sky views and astronomical trivia.

Pictured below is the path to the Jeffers site and a student viewing an open cluster in Gemini.