AMPD and the Allan I. Carswell Observatory welcome attendees of all ages to their Halloween Astronomy Extravaganza
It was an evening of fright-filled, inspirational and educational in equal parts. The Halloween Astronomy Extravaganza comprised of two ticketed events, the first – Herschel 200th Anniversary: Astronomy, Music, Extraterrestrials – celebrates the monumental achievements of 18th-century astronomer and composer Sir William Herschel.
Since his death in 1822, Herschel’s contributions to science and the arts have continued to influence astronomers and musicians. The discovery of Uranus and a litany of symphonies bearing Herschel’s name are just a few examples of his lasting legacy.
As part of the lecture series, Professor Parandis Tajbakhsh recounted the cosmic musings of Sir Herschel, spanning an array of topics: from plans to design his own telescopes, to the possibility of life on worlds beyond our own. Tajbakhsh’s lecture was concluded by a selection of Herschel’s own caprices performed by York University student violinists Kay Tozawa, Jesse Tamang and Yusuf Tajbakhsh.
The second event – The Allan I. Carswell Observatory Presents: Herschel and the Haunted Telescope – followed the lecture and musical performances from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Carswell Observatory.
Observatory Director Elaina Hyde guided stargazers and candy-cravers on a Halloween-themed tour, culminating with a viewing of Herschel’s most significant discovery, the planet Uranus, through the observatory’s one-metre lens telescope.