Take a Tour of the Night Sky with your iPod

Academy of Sciences Astronomer Bing Quock narrates an innovative podcast

SAN FRANCISCO (October 19, 2005) – It’s stargazing with a modern twist: Sky Tour, a free audio tour of the night sky presented by the California Academy of Sciences and the Environmental News Network, is now available for your Apple iPod or MP3 player. Download the podcast at http://staging/planetarium.

Led by Academy astronomer Bing Quock, Sky Tour focuses on celestial objects in the fall sky as seen from the continental United States . Quock begins with the planet Venus, visible just after sunset, and three bright stars known as the “summer triangle” to orient the listener. The tour then continues onto such familiar constellations as the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, and Draco the Dragon, with fascinating tidbits about the historical origins and meanings of these often cryptic star patterns. Other celestial objects on the tour include a star with extrasolar planets and the most distant object you can see with the unaided eye – the Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy similar to our very own Milky Way, whose light takes two and a half million years to reach Earth.

Sky Tour is intended for a general audience and lasts approximately 15 minutes. Just find a spot away from the bright city lights, plug in your earphones, and enjoy an informative stargazing session at your leisure.

Those who would like to hear one of Bing’s sky tours in person can sign up for one of three stargazing sessions that will be held at the San Francisco Botanical Garden this winter:

Stargazing with Academy Astronomer Bing Quock
Fridays, December 2, January 27, and February 24 from 6 – 7:30 pm
Join Bing Quock of the California Academy of Sciences’ Morrison Planetarium for night-sky viewing sessions on the beautiful grounds of the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park , including a laser-guided tour of the heavens and a deeper exploration with binoculars and a telescope. Dress warmly, bring a quality pair of binoculars (if you have them), a red-colored flashlight to preserve your night-vision, and your curiosity about the night sky!  Class is cancelled in the event of cloudy weather. Classes cost $12 per individual or $18 per family ($8 per person or $13 per family for Academy members). For more information, call (415) 379-8000.