The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is excited to join in the Los Alamos ScienceFest fun this year! PEEC is partnering with the ScienceFest team, the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities and Pajarito Astronomers to host a variety of events on Friday and Saturday to celebrate.
Dark Sky Preservation
On Friday, July 9 at 7 p.m., join PEEC for the first talk in the nature center’s planetarium in over a year! Astronomer Galen Gisler will give a demonstration showing how light pollution impacts our view of the night sky. Using special effects with the cove lighting system in the planetarium, Gisler will demonstrate sky glow and light domes over cities and discuss what we can do to mitigate light pollution and preserve our night skies. Buddy Stefanoff, Vice President of Crossroads LED, will present a slideshow called “Preserving Our Dark Skies” and show several dark sky certified fixtures that his company produces. This talk is free to attend, but advance registration is encouraged. Learn more and sign up here.
Electric Vehicle Show
PEEC is celebrating ScienceFest’s “Driven By Science” theme with their annual Electric Vehicle Show on Saturday, July 10! Stop by the Mesa Public Library Overflow Lot across from Ashley Pond Park from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. to see a variety of electric-powered vehicles, to ask questions of owners and dealers and to learn more about the carbon footprints of electric vehicles compared to gas-powered vehicles. This event is made possible by the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities.
Sunspot Viewing & Dark Night
Saturday, July 10 will also feature two astronomy-themed events from PEEC and the Pajarito Astronomers. Stop by Ashley Pond Park from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. to speak with astronomers and to take a look at our Sun through appropriately filtered telescopes. Attendees will look for any sunspots that might show up on the Sun’s surface (clouds permitting) and discuss how the Sun impacts life on Earth. Information on mitigating light pollution and responsible lighting practices will also be available at this event.
Then, join PEEC and the Pajarito Astronomers for a ScienceFest Dark Night at Spirio Fields in Overlook Park. If you have an interest in stargazing and would like the chance to look for stars through a telescope, come out and join us! This event will start at about 8 p.m. for people that want to set up telescopes, but stars will be more visible closer to 9 p.m. Heidi Morris, President of the Pajarito Astronomers, will give a tour of the night sky at about 9:30 p.m.
Please bring a flashlight or headlamp to this event with a red light setting and use only your parking lights when driving through Overlook Park after dark. Bring your own binoculars, telescope or just yourself and come out to enjoy the night sky! This event is weather-dependent. Please maintain social distancing around others and follow mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals.
PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. The Los Alamos Nature Center is currently closed due to COVID-19, but there are many ways to learn about nature and interact with PEEC online. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit www.peecnature.org.