Harry Potter Star Party

Over on Stuart’s Astronomy Blog, he had a really neat post about an upcoming Harry Potter and Book 7 Star Party. This is a brilliant idea that I’m thinking of stealing (maybe some of you might also consider stealing his idea). All the book stores around here are planning to open at midnight to sell book 7. Many of the bigger ones are already planning special events – street carnivals, costume shows, etc – but the small independent book stores don’t all have the resources to humor restless children desperately awaiting books. So… A friend and I are going to offer ourselves up as entertainment. Maybe it will be fun, may be it will rain, but we’ll at least try and give it a try.


  1. Richard
    Jul 15, 2007

    I also do astronomy outreach. Sometimes we have to try to “capture” a audience when they least suspect it. Sounds like a great venue.My saying is “If we set up a scope, they will look!” Have fun with this event.

  2. Stuart
    Jul 15, 2007

    Pamela (and everyone else), I’m perfectly happy for you to take this idea and use it.

    Harry Potter is becoming a great “hook” to explain a little astronomy to kids because it provides a common starting point to work from. I’ve been starting to use Harry Potter in occasional planetarium shows because even if the kids don’t know Greek or Roman myths – they do know some via movies – they more than likely know some Harry Potter characters.

  3. SF Reader
    Jul 16, 2007

    You can even offer a prize for finding the Astronomy howler (sorry) in the *book* Order of the Phoenix: they go out to view Venus at midnight.

  4. Kevin
    Jul 16, 2007

    I just wish our local club had members that were more outgoing. We’d set up at the local book stores in a flash.

    but alas, getting members to do things nowadays is like finding dark skies in Manhattan.

  5. Stuart
    Jul 17, 2007

    SF Reader, although it does appear to be an item of bad astronomy on first look, it is possible to see Venus at midnight (British Summer Time) from Scotland (location of Hogwarts) on June 25th (date of exam). It would only have been a degree or so above the horizon though, so the seeing would have been terrible.

    Reference: Sky & Telescope, “Rowling Gets It Right,” p. 12 of December 2003 issue (Vol. 106, No. 6), Sky Publishing Corporation, Cambridge, MA.

  6. SF Reader
    Jul 19, 2007

    Sheesh, I didn’t put all the geometry together to realize that.

    Thanks, Stuart! I’ll stop propagating it…

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