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Virtual Statewide Star Party, photo of Aurora Borealis
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Statewide Star Party 2020: Wednesday, November 11

Wednesday | November 11, 2020 | 7:00 pm10:00 pm


Join us for our virtual statewide star party! Eventbrite registration link at the bottom of the page or click the button below.

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Wednesday, November 11
7–10 pm

7 pm: In Search of Minnesota’s Dark Skies

Mike ShawDr. Mike Shaw | Resident artist at the Bell Museum

Most Minnesotans aren’t able to fully experience a naturally dark night sky since they live in regions that experience significant skyglow. However, the quantity and visibility of night sky objects dramatically increases in areas with lower levels of skyglow. In this presentation, Shaw will illustrate the origins and effects of skyglow across the state of Minnesota with the aid of stunning night sky images, breath-
taking time-lapses and quantitative darkness measurements. He will introduce virtual reality (VR) imagery as an immersive way to experience the variety of Minnesota’s precious night skies. Finally, he will present steps anyone can take to help mitigate skyglow.

The Bell’s Resident Artist Research Project program is made possible in part thanks to generous support provided by the McKnight Foundation.

Mike Shaw is an award-winning photographer, author, and speaker based in St. Paul. He holds a Ph.D. in materials engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.S. in ceramic engineering from the Ohio State University, and a B.S. in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He spent two years as a postdoctoral research scientist at Cambridge University, England.

His books Composite Nightscapes and Time-Lapses and The Complete Guide to Landscape Astrophotography  are indispensable guides to astrophotography, and his field workshops take him and his students around the globe in search of the darkest, clearest skies. Shaw is a 2019-2020 Bell resident artist, focusing on dark skies science and imagery.

8 pm: Universe @ Home—Cosmology and Large-Scale Structure: Why Nothing Really Matters

Darcy Ballantyne | Planetarium education assistant at the Bell and astrophysics student at the University of Minnesota

Ann Isaacs | Graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Institute of Astrophysics.

Alexander Criswell | Graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Institute of Astrophysics.

The universe is not uniform! It is made of huge structures, massive superclusters and voids thousands of lightyears across. This is the story of how those structures formed, why we see them, and what it means for us on our tiny blue dot.

9 pm: Live Telescope Observing from the Bell Museum Observation Deck

Grab your star map, sit back, and enjoy a tour of the night sky—live! Virtual star parties, happening every night this week, will allow you to see the wonders of the night sky from telescopes directly broadcasted to your screens. Our team and partners around the state will take you on a tour of the night sky and show you celestial objects from our solar system and beyond!


Visit the link below to return to the 2020 Statewide Star Party main event page.

Statewide Star Party Info

Accessibility: All programs will be captioned and all keynotes will be live captioned; ASL interpreters available upon request. Please contact the accessibility office at 612-624-4268 or bellaccess@umn.edu.

Special thank you to Ruth and John Huss for their generous support.

The Statewide Star Party is funded in part by

clean water land & legacy amendment


Wednesday | November 11, 2020
7:00 pm–10:00 pm


Zoom link will be sent to registered participants

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