Star Stuff - Atlas Obscura

Berthoud, Colorado

Star Stuff

Gaze through the Little Thompson Observatory 18" and 24" telescopes, indulge in cosmic lemonade and moon pies, and compete to win at space trivia!

Spend a night among the stars at Little Thompson Observatory!

The night sky is wondrous, filled with countless swirling galaxies, planets, the moon, black holes, and so much more. Many of these sights are easily visible from Earth with the help of the right equipment. With two telescopes, two constellation walls, and knowledgeable guides, the Little Thompson Observatory is just the place to experience the vast universe.

We'll start the night with cosmic lemonade, moon pies, and a space trivia competition. The winning trivia team will walk away with an incredible space-themed prize basket! 

Once the sun has set, the real show begins. We'll start out by orienting ourselves to the night sky using the observatory's amazing star map.  We'll also learn more about their observational equipment, including the story of how they acquired the telescope used to assess the moon's surface for the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.  Then, you'll have the chance to gaze through that very same telescope! During our star gazing, you'll have time to ask questions and view several constellations. 

In between star gazing, we invite you to check out the hand-painted map of Lakota constellations and compare it to the zodiac constellations.  

About the Little Thompson Observatory:

The Little Thompson Observatory carries on a Berthoud tradition which dates back to John Bunyan’s love of astronomy and his Bunyan Observatory. It opened in 1999, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Tom Patterson and local volunteers. In 2007, Telescopes in Education provided the observatory with a second telescope, the historical Mount Wilson 24-inch. It was built for the Apollo program to study lunar dust on the moon and to find landing sites for the astronauts. It then was used for two decades of research by grad students from Caltech, and then by TIE at Mount Wilson for education, before being retired.

Additional Information:

  • Admission includes a Moon Pie and non-alcoholic cosmic lemonade.
  • This event will run rain or shine. If it is a cloudy night, don’t worry! The Little Thompson Observatory will share some of their space footage and dive more into the history of the Lakota constellations.
  • We will meet at the Little Thompson Observatory. 850 Spartan Ave, Berthoud, CO 80513. The Observatory shares a parking lot with Berthoud High School.  Hannah will send an email with parking instructions and a map the day before the event.
  • This event is open to all ages.
  • Please arrive promptly at 7:30 PM to check-in. 

QUESTIONS?

Email Hannah Finch at hannah.finch@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.