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Astronomy in the Rocky Mountains

Program Number: 4668RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/28/2014 - 8/2/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Pingree Park, Colorado
Price starting at: $949.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Science & Nature; Natural History Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Far away from city lights high in the Rocky Mountains, view distant objects in the amazing dark skies and clear mountain air. By day, view sunspots and prominences; by night, view stars, clusters, nebulae and galaxies using provided telescopes and binoculars. Learn how to use a “go-to” telescope and star wheels. For those bringing telescopes, individual instruction is available. All levels of experience welcome. Topics change each year to benefit returning participants. Attend both sessions to get the big picture!




Highlights

• Under dark mountain night skies, observe gorgeous stars, planets, nebulae and galaxies with hands-on telescopes.
• During daytime lectures, learn about new planets around other stars in the Milky Way and discuss and question current topics in astronomy.
• See and hear about new discoveries on Mars and other solar system bodies.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to a half mile. Site elevation 9,000 feet.



The July 19 date is being held at the same time as Program 4821 "Birding in the Rocky Mountains" if friends or couples want to attend and split programs but lodge together.




Date Specific Information

7-28-2014

This is a 5 night program that includes nightly viewing for 4 nights with emphasis on planets and our solar system! We'll look at the Mars Curiosity new discoveries on its way across Gale Crater to Mt Sharp. Mt Sharp is expected to yield a wealth of information about the geological history of Mars. Pluto will become the last big solar system body to be explored when New Horizons arrives there, but New Horizons is making new discoveries on its way to Pluto. Two new moons that orbit Pluto were discovered which gives us more reason to discuss why it was demoted to a "dwarf planet" status in 2006. Meanwhile Juno has survived a computer malfunction and appears to be in good shape on its to make new discoveries on Jupiter. We'll see what MESSENGER spacecraft has revealed at Mercury including the presence of water at the poles of this 850 degree Fahrenheit planet that is closest to the sun.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Pingree Park

Colorado State University's Pingree Park campus lies in a beautiful mountain valley on the northern border of Rocky Mountain National Park. Purple Pasque Flowers greet visitors in May, while brightly colored aspen leaves announce the fall months. Moose and deer often are seen in the valley, and temperatures are perfect for all types of activities.



Accommodations
Comfortable rooms in one-story buildings; spectacular views from lounge and deck. Cafeteria a 10-minute walk from lodging.
Meals and Lodgings
   Pingree Park Conference Center
  Pingree Park, CO 5 nights
 Pingree Park Conference Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Pingree Park is a beautiful mountain valley. Within this valley is Colorado State University's Pingree Park Campus. The 1,200-acre campus is within sight of Rocky Mountain National Park, the Comanche Peak Wilderness Area, and Roosevelt National Forest.
  Contact info: 16321 Pingree Park Road
Bellvue, CO 80512 USA
phone: 970-881-2150
web: www.pingree.colostate.edu
  Room amenities: Comfortable, carpeted modern rooms; private bathrooms.
  Facility amenities: Spectacular views from the spacious lounge and deck. Carpeted rooms and private baths. Free Wireless Internet. One computer available for Internet access in evenings. Two payphones for long distance calls.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call Pingree Park for rates Persons desiring early or between sessions, or late stayovers should call Pingree Park Campus for rates and availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call Pingree Park for rates Persons desiring early or between sessions, or late stayovers should call Pingree Park Campus for rates and availability.
  Check out time: 8:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in by 4 PM. You will be staying at Pingree Park Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Check out at 8 AM. You will be staying at Pingree Park Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk Form to be mailed to the Mountains and Plains Office.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free on campus
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Pingree Park, CO
  Nearest city or town:  Fort Collins, CO
  Nearest highway: CO State Hwy 14
  Nearest airport:  Denver International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Pingree Park, CO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Pingree Park

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
See below
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Travel Time:

 

4 hours 

 

Distance:

 

130 miles

   

Shuttles from Den. Intl. Airport to Fort Collins Hilton Hotel: SuperShuttle-reservations 970-482-0505 or Greenride Colorado-reservations 1-888-472-6656. Ask to be dropped off at the Fort Collins Hilton Hotel - 425 W. Prospect Rd. NOTE: This is not the Hilton Garden Inn. Campus van will pick up at Fort Collins Hilton at 3 pm. on first day of program only and bring to Pingree Park. Campus van departs Pingree Park at 6:30 a.m.on last morning of program to Fort Collins arriving Hilton at 8:15 am.

 
Driving Directions
  Denver, Colorado From DIA: Pena Blvd. to I 70 West I70 West to I25 North I25 North to Fort Collins, State HWY 14 exit, West (Mulberry Street) State Hwy 14 for 35 miles to Pingree Park Rd. 16.5 mi. to Pingree Park
  Fort Collins, Colorado College Avenue North, US Hwy 287 and State Hwy 14 for 10 miles to Junction, Poudre Canyon and division of highways. Take Poudre Canyon, State Hwy. 14 west for 25 miles to Pingree Park Rd. junction, then 16.5 mi. to Pingree Park
Elevation Note: Walking, hiking will experience elevations from 9,000 to 10,500 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Participants are welcome to bring their own telescopes in addition to the provided group telescopes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome and Introductions
(Monday, July 28)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival/check in by 4 p.m. Orientation and tour of campus before dinner
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall at 6 p.m.
 Evening: Introductions and program orientation by Instructor: This Program date will feature Solar System Themes. Nightly viewing for 4 nights with emphasis on planets and our solar system! We'll look at the Mars Curiosity new discoveries on its way across Gale Crater to Mt Sharp. Mt Sharp is expected to yield a wealth of information about the geological history of Mars. Pluto will become the last big solar system body to be explored when New Horizons arrives there, but New Horizons is making new discoveries on its way to Pluto. Two new moons that orbit Pluto were discovered which gives us more reason to discuss why it was demoted to a "dwarf planet" status in 2006. Meanwhile Juno has survived a computer malfunction and appears to be in good shape on its to make new discoveries on Jupiter. We'll see what MESSENGER spacecraft has revealed at Mercury including the presence of water at the poles of this 850 degree Fahrenheit planet that is closest to the sun.
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Tools of the Trade/Stargazing
(Tuesday, July 29)
   
 Breakfast: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: Group photo, Learn about telescopes, Planispheres, and Star Maps to be used, view sunspots
 Lunch: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Afternoon: Lecture on week's theme (see Day One) free time late afternoon for optional "Go To" Telescope or individual pursuits
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: Stellar viewing by naked eye and telescopes, planispheres
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Class and Hike/Stargazing
(Wednesday, July 30)
   
 Breakfast: Early morning stargazing before dawn. Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: Lecture on week's theme (see Day One); late morning,easy hike to Denny's Point and Twin Lakes
 Lunch: Picnic bag lunch, pick up at breakfast
 Afternoon: Continue hike, return by mid-afternoon
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: Stellar viewing by naked eye and telescopes, planispheres
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Classes and Stargazing
(Thursday, July 31)
   
 Breakfast: Early morning stargazing before dawn. Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: Lecture on week's theme (see Day One)
 Lunch: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Afternoon: Lecture on week's theme (see Day One)
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: Stellar viewing by naked eye and telescopes, planispheres
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Class/Stargazing
(Friday, August 1)
   
 Breakfast: Early morning stargazing before dawn. Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: Lecture on week's theme (see Day One); late morning hike to Cirque Meadows
 Lunch: Picnic bag lunch, pick up at breakfast
 Afternoon: Continue hike, mid-afternoon final lecture, Reception and Celebration
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: Free time for packing, farewells, reflection and relaxation. (In case of inclement weather earlier in the week, back-up night for star gazing)
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Departure after Breakfast
(Saturday, August 2)
   
 Depart From: Independent departures after breakfast
 Breakfast: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Pingree Park, CO Colorado Visitor & Convention Bureau
Phone: 800-265-6723
  Discovery Center Science Museum
703 E. Prospect Road, Fort Collins, CO Phone: 970-472-3990 For additional information, visit www.dcsm.org
  Fort Collins Visitors Bureau
Phone: 970-482-5821
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Astronomy for Dummies


Author: Stephen P. Maran


Description: Do you know the difference between a red giant and a white dwarf? From asteroids to black holes, this easy-to-understand guide takes you on a grand tour of the universe. Featuring updated star maps, charts, and an insert with gorgeous full-color photographs, Astronomy For Dummies provides an easy-to-follow introduction to the night sky. Plus, this new edition also gives you the latest theories, explanations, and insights into the basic workings of the universe. • Includes updated schedules of coming eclipses of the Sun and Moon and a revised planetary appendix • Covers recent discoveries in space, such as water on the Moon and Pluto's demotion from "planet" status • Collects new websites, lists of telescope motels, sky-watching guides, and suggestions for beginner's telescopes and suppliers • Brings you up-to-speed on the latest social trends and personal technology, such as stargazing mobile apps, NASA video, and the prevalence of "Citizen Science" networks Whether you're an amateur astronomer, space enthusiast, or enrolled in a first year astronomy course, Astronomy For Dummies has you covered.



Astronomy Handbook


Author: James Muirden


Description: When you look up on a clear night at a sky filled with stars, the Astronomy Handbook will help you identify and understand what you see. This useful guide is packed with information on the constellations, the sun, the solar system, meteors and comets, all illustrated in color. There are star maps and moon charts, a diary of events in the sky and plenty of practical advice on how to make your own astronomical observations.



Skywatching


Author: David Levy


Description: This highly acclaimed, best-selling series takes field guides to a breathtaking new level. Filled with full-color maps, diagrams, photographs, and sketches, each book takes readers on an exciting armchair adventure through some of the most fascinating places in the natural world -- and offers practical advice for those planning real-life expeditions.



Stars & Planets


Author: Jay Pasachoff


Description: The fourth edition of this best-selling field guide has been completely revised and updated to include the latest information from leading astronomical sources. All the time-sensitive material is new and valid through 2017: solar eclipses, phases of the moon, positions of the planets, and more. Twenty-four Monthly Sky Maps, all newly revised and in color, show exactly what you'll see when facing north or south in the night sky. Fifty-two Atlas Charts, also revised and in color, cover the entire sky, including close-ups of areas of special interest such as the Pleiades and the Orion Nebula. The hundreds of thousands of devoted users of the previous editions of this guide have been eagerly awaiting this new volume so they can continue to enjoy their hobby in the coming decades.





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