Night Sky: Science and Wonder

Mark Breen and Mariama Jones invite you to search the night sky for constellations, stars, and planets

Mark Breen and Mariama Jones invite you to search the night sky for constellations, stars, and planets

February 10, 2022| Category: Programs and Events

Tonight at 7:00 PM!

We learned yesterday morning that Wanda Díaz-Merced had a health incident and will not be able to deliver her planned presentation this evening.  She expects to make a full recovery, and we’ll host her as an Eddy Lecture speaker at some point in the future.

In honor of Dr. Díaz-Merced, we are presenting Night Sky: Science and Wonder. You’re invited on a journey through the cosmos with Mark Breen, director of the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, and Mariama Jones, science educator at the Fairbanks Museum. Your guides will take you on a tour of astronomy events, such as solar and lunar eclipses, and their significance in different cultures. Mark Breen’s decades-long astronomy observations will inform this conversation about understanding stars, planets, constellations and other observable night sky features, while Mariama Jones brings a social perspective that includes myths, legends, and attitudes that shape our understanding of what’s beyond our horizon. Both speakers came to astronomy from different paths, and they offer tips for observing — from events to tools — that make it easy to go far.

Join this interactive conversation by posting your questions online during the conversation, or submitting them now.

Live on Zoom and Facebook at 7:00 tonight.

Access the lecture with this Zoom link.

Wanda Díaz-Merced is an astronomer who studies light from energy intensive gamma-ray bursts, and advocates for a more inclusive scientific community. When she lost her sight in her early 20s, she had to discover new ways to study the universe. By using “sonification,” Díaz-Merced has mastered the practice of transmitting light curves into sound, uncovered patterns hidden in visual representations, and become a leader in her field. Her observations stretch the boundaries of what’s possible, what’s knowable, and the nature of our universe.

Mark Breen, director of our Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium and producer of Eye on the Night Sky, will talk with Díaz-Merced during this live, interactive exchange. Mark will use his expertise on the night sky to provide context to Wanda’s methods of understanding light. We encourage audience participation and questions. This William Eddy Lecture will take place virtually on Zoom ( To pre-register for optional email reminders about the lecture, please fill out this form by April 19.

The William Eddy Lecture Series was established in 2010 by Bill and Pam Eddy to challenge our habits of thinking by bringing nationally-known speakers to St. Johnsbury. Thanks to their generosity, Eddy lectures are free and open to everyone.

Tags: astronomy, Eye on the Night Sky, William Eddy Lecture