HICKORY - BoBfest: Regional Gathering of Amateur Astronomers returns to Catawba Science Center on Saturday, Jan. 25.

Doors will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. BoBfest is free and open to the public.



The event will feature keynote speakers, astrophotography displays, and door prizes. Vendors, exhibitors, and information about local events and facilities will be available, as well as the chance to engage with amateur and professional astronomers from the region.

Catawba Science Center staff will be heading up family activities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. such as crafts and experiments related to astronomy for children of all ages. Attendees ranging from professional astronomers to those who simply have an interest in astronomy are welcome. Anyone looking into astronomy as a hobby is urged to come and ask questions of the more experienced astronomers.

The morning key note speakers at this year’s event will be Gayle Riggsbee and Matt Harbison. There will also be afternoon forums with different speakers covering a range of topics from astrophotography, to meteorite identification, and how to get started in astronomy. In addition to the key note speakers and various afternoon forums on astronomy topics, there will be solar observing available during lunch weather permitting.

Tickets will be sold for a wide variety of door prizes for $1 per ticket. Door prizes range from astronomy materials and merchandise, to telescopes, items from local businesses, and more. Since the event is free to the public, the money from the door prize donations will help fund the event, and any interested vendors or door prize donors may contact bobfestastro@gmail.com. While BoBfest is free to everyone, participants are encouraged to pre-register online at www.catawbasky.org/bobfest.

For a more detailed schedule of the events, visit www.catawbasky.org/bobfest. Groucho’s Deli will have lunch available for purchase. Special planetarium features, including children’s shows and laser shows will be shown throughout the day in the Millholland Planetarium. The Lucile Miller Observatory at Maiden Middle School in nearby Maiden will be open for observing at 7 p.m. with members of the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club. BoBfest is presented by the Cleveland County Astronomical Society, Catawba Science Center, and the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club.

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