What is the Fate of the Universe?
At a National Federation of the Blind Program in Maryland,
these students were enthralled with hands on exhibits learning distance scales with the guidance of the Westminster Astronomical Society, Inc.
(Credit: Mark Kochte)

Our featured Night Sky Network activity for the month of October is: What is the Fate of the Universe? To help explain the wonders and future of what we call the Universe during this International Year of Astronomy 2009 are Night Sky Network club members. Over summer vacation did you travel to some new and exciting places?
Even if you didn't you can with the aid of the Night Sky Network. Here are a few examples of how these skilled amateur astronomers can help.

Devin Della-Rose of the U. S. Air Force Academy Physics and Astronomy Club had this to say about their Summer Seminar in Colorado: "We used learning aids from the Night Sky Network activity Our Galaxy, Our Universe to provide perspective on the vast distances of the nebulae and galaxies they saw in the photos. They had a lot of fun gaining a better understanding of relative distances!

In New York, Linda Prince of the Amateur Observers' Society of NY held an astronomy Family Night for 400 guests at Syosset High School. Here's what Linda had to say: "This event was very successful. Participants loved the Moon cookies activity that we did as well as the planetarium shows in the Starlab. We had a cosmic time line around the gym wall and people picked up event cards and placed events on the time line. By the end of the evening, we had the whole history of the Universe up on the wall."

Marni Berendsen of the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society noted: "One man came up to me after several people participated in building a model of the universe and stated: 'My teenage daughter doesn't normally do very well in school. But tonight, I haven't seen her this excited about learning in a long time. She is fascinated by everything you've been presenting.'

If you want to be fascinated and excited by what you can see in the night sky,
find out about this month's International Year of Astronomy
Featured Observing Object: The Andromeda Galaxy by using this guide.

This is a perfect time to view The Andromeda Galaxy with your local astronomy club.