What is the Fate of the Universe?
While at the Sally Ride Festival in Arizona,
Terri Finch of the Phoenix Astronomical Society noted: "This is a wonderful event.
Many children are asking lots of questions about the Universe."
(Credit: Rod Sutter)

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. Here are a few examples of what these amateur astronomy clubs have to offer.

Aaron Clevenson of the Community of Humble / Administaff Observatory Society told us about their Public Viewing Night and said: "We gave out Night Sky Network leaflets on planet relative sizes, Where are the black holes?, supernovae and Where are the distant worlds? It was fantastic!"

Storytelling by the Campfire was conducted under the guidance of the Tallahassee Astronomical Society in Florida. Club member Bruce French, commented: "The night's event began with Native American Indian Star lore and legends around a large campfire. Later, the crowd migrated to three telescopes and two binoculars with club members showing off the crescent Venus, craters of the Moon, the Orion Constellation and Andromeda Galaxy. For many, it was their first look through a telescope and binoculars."

Tammy Plotner of the Warren Rupp Observatory at a church camp in Ohio had this to say: "What do you do with a big group of teenagers? Discuss supernova and black holes, of course! It was a terrific night to employ their imaginations and to help touch on subjects they found difficult to understand. We kept them reaching for the stars."

In Maine, Joan Chamberlain participated in the Spontaneous Star Party with members of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England and had this to say about their star party: "This was a lot of fun. They were very impressed with seeing Cygnus X-1 a double black hole. We looked at the Pleiades, a very interesting open cluster of stars in Cassiopeia and talked about where these were located in our Milky Way Galaxy. We also observed the Andromeda Galaxy. One young man had so much fun finding objects in our club telescope he said: 'When I get home, I'm going to go right out and buy a telescope of my own!'"

If you want to be fascinated and excited by what you can see in the night sky, with or without a telescope, find out about this month's International Year of Astronomy Featured Observing Object: The Andromeda Galaxy by using this guide.

Then, observe The Andromeda Galaxy with your local Night Sky Network astronomy club.