Coming Atrractions

Scope out the heavens at area observatories

Recommended activities for the coming week

Column by Clarke Reader
Posted 6/13/19

One of the best parts of summer are the warm evenings, which allow for all kinds of fun activities without the sweltering summer sun. And some great activities are only available during the evening …

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Coming Atrractions

Scope out the heavens at area observatories

Recommended activities for the coming week

Posted

One of the best parts of summer are the warm evenings, which allow for all kinds of fun activities without the sweltering summer sun. And some great activities are only available during the evening hours — like checking out the stars in the summer sky.

Thanks to the University of Colorado-Boulder and Denver Astronomical Society, those interested in a slightly closer view of celestial bodies can spend summer evenings getting just that at local observatories.

“I love the questions I get from people, both young and old,” said Dr. Seth Hornstein, observatory and education director at the Sommers-Bausch Observatory on the Boulder campus. “There is no limit to the types of questions we get. It’s inspiring inquisitively and curiosity, which is great.”

During the summer months, star-seekers can head to the Sommers-Bausch Observatory, 2475 Kittredge Loop Drive, at 9 p.m. on Fridays. The rest of the year, the free public open houses start at 8 p.m. People can even reserve the observatory for special events, or if you’re looking for something romantic.

Primarily run by graduate students, these open houses feature two state-of-the-art 20-inch telescopes.

“There’s a whole hodgepodge of things to look at, depending on the night, including star clusters, galaxies and nebulae,” Hornstein said. “The grad students can answer any questions and explain what everyone is looking at, and if we have faculty on hand, they’re great for color commentary.”

Founded in 1949, the Denver Astronomical Society hosts more than 145 outreach activities every year. The most frequent are held at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the University of Denver’s historic Chamberlin Observatory, 2930 E. Warren Ave. in Denver.

The society has been hosting these events for more than 60 years, and each one begins with a multi-media presentation from a society lecturer. Following that, if the weather is clear, attendees can stargaze courtesy of Chamberlin’s 28-foot long, 20-inch aperture Alvan Clark-Saegmuller refracting telescope. These events cost $4 for adults and $3 for children.

At both locations these events are not only an opportunity to do something educational, but also to marvel at the beauty that we so often can’t see, and thus, take for granted.

“We love connecting with the general public, and with the awesomeness of the universe,” Hornstein said. “Even if you’re not really studying what’s up there, there are amazing things to see.”

For more information on the University of Boulder observatory, visit www.colorado.edu/sbo, and head to www.denverastro.org to learn more about the astronomical society and its public events.

Clarke’s Concert of the Week — LANY at the Fillmore Auditorium

One of the main reasons pop music exists is so you can feel better about being sad, or maybe it’s feeling better while being sad. Less alone. Musicians from Nick Drake to Adele have figured all kinds of ways to tap into the sadness of lost love, and Los Angeles’ LANY is one of the best purveyors in the field.

The group’s two albums are prime examples of sleek, love-drunk pop rock, with the same kind synth-heavy 1980s influences that have returned to vogue thanks to artists like The 1975, Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift.

The trio will be stopping by the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St. in Denver, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 10. To go to a show that will make you think about love and get sad and stuff, visit www.livenation.com.

Bounce your way to a world record

It’s not every day you get to be a part of a Guinness World Record-holding event, and especially not one as fun as the “World’s Largest Bounce House.” The Big Bounce America Tour will be coming to Douglas County’s Meridian Park, 9365 San Luis Court, from June 14 through June 23.

The event will feature a 10,000-square-foot bounce house, a 900-foot-long inflatable obstacle course, and a space-themed exploration area. As the centerpiece, the bounce house includes a basketball court, giant slide and a massive ball pit. It also features a DJ soundtracking all the fun.

There are two kinds of tickets available — the all-access ticket and bounce-house-only ticket. There are also adult-only sessions offered.

For more information, visit www.thebigbounceamerica.com.

Have a catch with ‘Field of Dreams’

Look, if you can make it through “Field of Dreams” without shedding tears at least once, I really think you should double-check to ensure you still have a pulse. The 1989 Kevin Costner classic is more than just a love letter to baseball — it’s also a quintessential summer film, an ode to the power of words and a story about fathers and sons.

It makes perfect sense Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies is bringing the film back to theaters for its 30th anniversary — which also happens to be Father’s Day weekend. The movie is screening at movie theaters on Sunday, June 16 and Tuesday, June 18.

Get tickets to this classic back on the big screen at www.atomtickets.com.

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.

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