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Aerospace star headlining observatory fundraiser

September 9, 2010

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Back to school isn’t only about hitting the books this fall.

It’s also about stargazing, planetary plotting and astronomical storytelling at Starry Nights@SFU Forever.

That’s what physicist Howard Trottier and chemist Sophie Lavieri have named their astronomical extravaganza to help generate the remaining $2 million needed to build a $4-million campus astronomical teaching observatory and science outreach centre.

The fundraiser will take place rain or shine on Sept. 18, starting at 2 pm in the AQ north concourse, Burnaby campus, and continuing into the evening with an action-packed program of science activities for kids of all ages—and free parking all day. An evening stargazing party starts at 7 pm or, if it rains, there will be a space-themed movie night in Images Theatre.

The Vancouver Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is holding an astronomy day at the event as well, featuring a keynote address by Canadian aerospace legend James Whiteway, at 4 pm in Images Theatre.

The York University space engineer and Canadian science lead on NASA’s 2008 Phoenix Mars Lander project is renowned for spotting snow on the red planet.

There will also be a raffle, a silent auction and an evening BBQ, all by donation, with all proceeds going to the proposed observatory.

SFU’s Student Astronomy Club will lead a "solar system amazing race" across campus.

To attend, fill out the on-line survey at www.sfu.ca/starrynights by 11 pm on Sept. 12.

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