Contest: Win New Book About the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

UPDATE: The winner of the book is Irfaan Hamdulay from Cape Town, South Africa. Congrats!

A new giveaway for Universe Today readers! We’ve just reviewed a new book about the Sloan Digital Sky Survey called “A Grand and Bold Thing” by Ann Finkbeiner. It’s a great read about a great and visionary project — so how would you like to have your very own copy? Just send an email to Universe Today with “SDSS” in the subject line, and we’ll choose a winner. Deadline for entry is Monday, August 23, 2010 at 12 noon PDT.

By the way, we want to congratulate the winner of the Lunar Science Swag, Jesse Rogerson from Ontario, Canada!

Contest: Win Lunar Science Swag!

Win a bag of goodies from NLSI!


I attended the NASA Lunar Science Institute’s Annual Lunar Forum last week, and the wonderful people from NLSI provided a very cool bag of goodies — including a great backpack/bag with the NLSI logo, a bookmark, luggage nametag, lanyard (including an official PRESS badge!), stickers and other informational handouts. We’re giving this prize package away to one of our readers! Just send an email to [email protected]
and put “Lunar Science” in the subject line. We’ll do a random pick from all the emails we get. Submit an email by Monday, August 2 at 12:00pm PDT.

Sixth Annual Southern California Astronomy Exposition

Don’t miss the Southern California Astronomy Expo (SCAE) on Saturday, July 10th and Saturday, July 17th, 2010 at Oceanside Photo & Telescope! The store will be open from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM on Saturday, July 10th and from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM on July 17th. Check out the line-up of events they have planned for SCAE…you gotta come! And if you don’t live in the SoCal area? Don’t be discouraged. This isn’t a shameless attempt at advertising – it’s your chance to win some very expensive astronomy equipment. OPT is offering a free, on-line giveaway to Universe Today readers with total prizes worth more than $8000. All you have to do is register to get your chance to win!

Saturday, July 10th – SCAE Swap Meet & Star Party on Palomar Mountain!

Swap Meet at OPT: Bring your gently used (or maybe not so gently used) astronomy gear and join OPT for a day of fun and selling in the parking lot! OPT will provide the tables and you provide everything else. The day will start at 10 AM and end at 4:30 PM. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella or other portable shade with you if you don’t like the sun!

Star Party on Palomar Mountain: The party is far from over after the swap meet ends at OPT, and this year, we are doing something completely different! Since the 10th of July happens to be very close to New Moon, we decided to have a star party at a dark sky site, and what better location than in the shadow of the 200″ Hale Telescope on Palomar? The only thing stopping us was parking considerations, but we solved that one by chartering several buses for the evening to take attendees up to the mountain and back. The star party will start at dusk and go until 11 PM. Staff members from OPT and volunteers will have a variety of telescopes set up to gaze at old favorites like Saturn, Venus, & Mars as well as a myriad of galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and more! Representatives from companies like Apogee, Meade, Celestron, Chronos, and Planewave will also be on hand to demonstrate their telescopes, mounts, and imaging cameras… just wait until you see a galaxy through one of the big scopes out there, or the beautiful images that can be produced with an Apogee CCD camera!

Important Note: The site for this star party does not have parking facilities and you will not be allowed to park along the road. If you want to attend, you MUST ride on one of the buses we will provide. Buses will pick up riders at both a coastal and inland location. A limited number of Star Party Bus Tickets are now available. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. You will be mailed a boarding pass for each person in your party, and this boarding pass must be shown each time you board the bus as well as when you enter the star party area. You will also be mailed more information about the bus pick up locations. Since an outdoor star party is definitely dependent on weather, you will receive a refund for the ticket price if the event is officially canceled.

Saturday, July 17th – Telescope & Astronomy Demonstration

On Saturday, July 17th, almost forty telescope, CCD, and other astronomy product manufacturers and organizations will be on hand at OPT to show off their latest and greatest gear, and you’re invited! The SCAE 2010 Telescope & Astronomy Demonstration kicks off at 10 AM and runs through 7 PM. This year there will be more going on than ever to keep you busy and entertained. Special speakers will give presentations in the Gallery throughout the day, your favorite manufacturers will introduce new and exciting products on the Soapbox Stage all day long.

The SCAE Online Giveaway, where everyone, even those folks who can’t attend SCAE, can sign up for a chance to win one of four prizes worth a combined total of over $8,000! Sign up begins Monday, June 7th and runs through midnight, July 16th, 2010. Just click HERE to register!!

The Southern California Astronomy Exposition will be located at OPT’s beautiful showroom location. The address is 918 Mission Avenue in Oceanside, California. They are located 250 yards west of Interstate 5 on the corner of Mission Avenue and Horne Street. See you there!

The Universe DVD Giveaway

In case you haven’t heard, Season 4 of the History Channel’s “The Universe” has begun. To help celebrate, they’ve generously offered to give away two sweet prizes related to the show. One person will get “The Universe Collector’s Set“, which contains Season 1, Season 2, and the 2 specials. And another person will get to choose between Season 1 on Bluray, or Season 2 on DVD.

To enter the giveaway, just email [email protected] with the Subject Line: “Universe DVD Giveaway“. I’ll collect all the entries and pick two randomly as winners. Then I’ll delete all the emails.

The deadline to enter is Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 12:00 noon (Pacific Time).

And if you want to check out The Universe now, you can buy full episodes on iTunes, order DVDs from the History Channel, and even watch it on the television. The next episode, “It Fell From Space” airs on September 1, 2009

Astronomy Hacks Giveaway

The fine folks at O’Reilly Media have agreed to give away a free copy of their book, Astronomy Hacks, to one lucky Universe Today reader – click here to read our review. Just send me an email at [email protected] with the subject line Astronomy Hacks Giveaway by Friday, July 15 at 12:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time. I’ll choose one email from the list at random, and we’ll send you a copy of the book. (Don’t worry, I won’t save the addresses, I’ll delete all your emails right after I do the drawing.)

Good luck!

Fraser Cain
Publisher, Universe Today

Reminder: Year in Space 2005 Desk Calendar

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I just wanted to give you another reminder about the 2005 “Year in Space” desk calendar as a potential gift for all the space enthusiasts in your life. This 144-page calendar has a weekly space image, daily Moon phases, space trivia, and sky events. It only costs $10.95 (discounted from $14.95), and includes free shipping in the US. Just mention Universe Today on the order form.

Click here to learn more about the calendar.

Happy holiday shopping.

Fraser Cain
Universe Today