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Fairmont State partners with NASA to host astronomy based Star Party for the community Impact
Fairmont State News

Fairmont State partners with NASA to host astronomy based Star Party for the community

Apr 12, 2024Academics, Events

Falcon Center at NightFairmont State University’s Ruth Ann Musick Library and the NASA Katherine Johnson IV&V Education Resource Center have partnered to host a grant funded Star Party, where members of the community are invited to explore the night sky and learn about astronomy. The event will take place on Monday, April 15 from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. on the Education Building Quad located on Fairmont State’s campus. If the weather does not permit, the Star Party will be postponed until April 22.

The event is a part of NASA’s Citizen Science initiative, which are collaborations between scientists and interested members of the public. Through these collaborations, volunteers (known as citizen scientists) have helped make thousands of important scientific discoveries. The Star Party also marks Citizen Science month, which is celebrated every April.

"I am eager to finally bring this initiative to the Fairmont State campus. Citizen science is a great way for anyone of any age to help NASA scientists collect data, which they use to confirm satellite observations of the Earth,” said aid NASA IV&V Education Resource Center Education Outreach Specialist Josh Revels. “Not only will I show participants how to star hop to the month's pertinent constellation, but I also will train them to measure transparency of the sky by aligning a Sky Quality Meter with bright stars in that constellation."

During the Star Party, participants will utilize telescopes and an app accessible through their smartphones to map stars and track sky conditions. There will also be a teacher training from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. and is open to all educators.

The Star party is specifically a part of Citizen Science’s GLOBE at Night Campaign, which raises public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting the public to measure and submit their night sky brightness observations. Revels is a GLOBE Trainer who will be assisting both teachers and attendees on how to conduct Citizen Science protocols.

"The support of the grant written by specialists at the Ruth Ann Musick Library will not only support a telescope and sky quality loanable kit on campus but also initiates the data collection portion of GLOBE at Night by providing the NASA Katherine Johnson IV&V ERC with a loanable SQM as well,” Revels added. “Therefore, the initiative will expand and reach classrooms all across the state of West Virginia."

The event will be supported by grant funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement Number U24LM014070 with the University of Iowa, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, and the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System.

“Ruth Ann Musick Library is thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with NASA Katherine Johnson IV&V Education Resource Center for this event,” said Student Success Librarian Ashley Dover. “We are also incredibly grateful to have received this grant funding and wish to extend our appreciation to the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the All of Us Research Program, for making this community event possible.”

For more information about the Star Party, contact Ashley Dover at or (304) 333-3690.