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February 11, 2005
Night Sky Network
The Minnesota Astronomical Society is a proud member of
the 'Night Sky Network', a nationwide coalition of astronomy clubs and
societies. The Network is a joint effort of NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (JPL) and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Its
objective is to bring the science, technology and inspiration of NASA's
missions to the general public.
The current theme of the materials supplied by the Night
Sky Network is “PlanetQuest: The Search for Another Earth”.
These materials will be used in upcoming monthly meetings, at Onan
Observatory public events and at other outreach activities throughout the
The PlanetQuest toolkit includes:
Four 'hands-on' activities: 'Where are the Distant
Worlds?', 'Telescope Treasure Hunt: How Do Stars and Planets Form?',
'How Do We Find Planets Around Others Stars?' and 'Why Do We Put
Telescopes in Space?'.
Computer-based animations, simulations and other
multimedia materials such as an interactive Michelson interferometer and
a virtual tour of Keck observatory.
Educators, youth leaders and groups interested in programs
using these materials can contact the outreach team via email at email@example.com, or by leaving
a message at (952) 467-2426.
MAS members can use the toolkit for outreach
events, special interest group meetings or general MAS meetings. The
toolkit's documents and multimedia files are available on CD, but there
are limited quantities of materials for the hands-on activities. The
only requirement for using the toolkit is that presenters must log their
presentation with the MAS Night Sky Network coordinator. (This
information is in turn reported to the Night Sky Network to to support
their continued funding and to keep the MAS membership in the Network
To request a copy of the resources CD or to inquire about
the availability of other toolkit resources, MAS members should send email
For more information on the Night Sky Network, please
visit its web site at http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/.