A stellar evening at astronomy night

Kristina Smith

At the latest installment of Astronomy night, the Astronomy club welcomed NASA Ambassador Sam Turley and delved into the matter of NASA’s Apollo projects.

After a short lecture on the history of humankind’s launch into space, everyone was welcomed to the roof of the physics building to stargaze. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the first vision students set their eyes on was the craters of the moon.

The evening was hosted by Astronomy Club president Amelia Brumfield.

Brumfield was donned in a Princess Leia gown (it’s a custom for graduating presidents in the Astronomy club to wear a space costume), following tradition for her final Astronomy night. Though she’ll be out of the orbit of UNF astronomy, the new programs she brought to the club have made an impact.

“I was able to get us to Orlando and see a planetarium, WonderWorks, and things like that,” Brumfield said. “I was also able to take us to Cecil Spaceport today and give some students a tour of that and allow them to kind of network…so opening up opportunities for a lot of astronomy club members.”

Astronomy night (which is open to the public) has also gotten a boost, with speakers giving short lectures before cutting the audience loose for stargazing.

Turley, being the scholar of the night, offered a quick timeline of man’s ascent into space and detailed the progress of the Apollo missions. Expressing her support, as an advocate for space exploration.

“I think the most important thing is helping people to recognize that space isn’t something that just exists around us, it’s something that we exist in…it’s as important as learning about the world around us,” Turley said.

After her lecture, Turley encouraged everyone to share their enthusiasm for space. Then students and members of the community closed out the evening as always— turning up their telescopes and gazing at the skies.


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