Night Sky Star Party

Friday November 9, 2018 7:30 PM to 10:44 AM

The UT Arboretum Society invites you to learn about the autumn sky with Dr. Owen Hoffman and other area astronomers at a “Night Sky Star Party,” Friday, November 9th from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the UT Arboretum, 901 S. Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge.

Participants will meet at the UT Arboretum auditorium for a short program by Dr. Hoffman. The group will then walk a short distance up a hill to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather station where Hoffman and area astronomers will have telescopes set up. Attendees should bring their own chairs or blankets as well as flash lights for the walk up to the viewing site.  Dr. Hoffman will discuss what to look for through the telescopes.

The UT Arboretum Society will offer refreshments in the auditorium before the program. All ages are welcome  and no registration is required for this free family program.

Please check the UT Arboretum Facebook page for weather updates if needed:

Dr. Owen Hoffman of Oak Ridge is a retired environmental scientist and an enthusiastic amateur astronomer.   Early in his career, Dr. Hoffman worked as a park ranger-naturalist at Crater Lake, Zion, and Yosemite National Parks.  While in these parks, he often gave impromptu star walks after his scheduled evening programs, to introduce urban and suburban park visitors to the wonders of a pristine dark and starry sky.   He currently serves intermittently as a volunteer for the National Park Service, narrating night sky programs at the Obed Wild and Scenic River and at Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Locally, you might find Dr. Hoffman out on a clear night with his 10” Dobsonian telescope enjoying public-service sidewalk astronomy.  He typically sets his telescope up at the Oak Ridge Marina or Jackson Square and offers views of the heavens above to anyone curious enough to approach him and look through the eyepiece of his telescope.  Dr. Hoffman is a member of the Knoxville Observers and the Smoky Mountain Astronomical Society.  He is on the board of directors of Roane State Community College’s Tamke-Allan Observatory located near Harriman, TN.  He is the former president and director of the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis.

 For more information on the program, call 865-483-7277 or email

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