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See the Sun, 'World at Night' at astronomy conference

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See the Sun, 'World at Night' at astronomy conference

Many of the world’s leading amateur astronomers, dark-skies advocates and solar science experts are gathered at a joint meeting in Tucson this weekend, and the public is invited to experience their talents and hardware.

More than two dozen stunning photographs of the night sky as viewed over many of the world’s most beautiful natural and human-made landmarks are on display in the lobby of the Tucson Hilton East, 7600 E. Broadway, as part of the joint 2010 annual meetings of the Astronomical League and the Tucson-based International Dark-Sky Association.

The photos are a subset of a continuing global project called "The World At Night," a collective effort by many of the world’s most talented landscape photographers that was a featured project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

These TWAN images, brought to Tucson by the efforts of Soha Namnabat, a graduate student at the University of Arizona Optical Science Center, reflect a growing effort at U.S. national parks and similar locations to emphasize and preserve the darkness of their night skies, according to meeting attendees.

Meanwhile, Lunt Solar Systems, a Tucson-based small business that builds world-class solar telescopes and solar filters, is sponsoring a parallel meeting called the Arizona Solar Conference.

Lunt has set up a variety of Sun-viewing telescopes on the back patio of the Hilton East for the public to use, weather permitting, to see features on our nearest star such as solar prominences and flares.

The meeting also features a variety of exhibitors, including telescope manufacturers, local telescope stores and educational organizations, and meteorite vendors, that are also open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

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