Seniors Issac Christian and Monique Miquel spend the evening looking at Orion Nebula in Marjory’s Garden. Photo by Darian Williams
On Friday, Feb. 28, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s Astronomy Club hosted an astronomy night at Marjory’s Garden. The event was open to faculty, families and students, and all participants were invited to spend the night studying the stars.
Participants were invited to look at the Orion Nebula, an area in space where stars are born, as it can be seen very clearly at this time of year. Astronomy teacher and club sponsor Brandon Jeter, as well as astronomy club members, attempted to photograph the Orion Nebula, as it was very prominent in the sky that night.
Jeter encouraged astronomy students to visit astronomy night for extra credit. Since his students are currently learning about stars in his class, Jeter used a laser pointer to point out different types of stars in the night sky
“I’m not in an astronomy class, but I felt like I was,” senior Angelina Brier said. “It was really informative and interesting to learn how to identify different types of stars.”
Jeter and club members taught visitors how to properly use telescopes, and are well informed on the position and titles of certain stars and planets. This provides a learning experience to visitors who may have previously known nothing about astronomy.
The MSD Astronomy Club brought other forms of entertainment to visitors by putting up lights, playing music, providing homemade food and snacks and having games, like cornhole. This provided a light and upbeat atmosphere and allowed visitors to have an enjoyable experience while also gaining knowledge about astronomy.
“Me and the members really enjoy putting in effort for a club we really love,” Astronomy Club President Alanna O’Connell said.
Besides astronomy night, the club also organizes field trips, local fundraisers and large scale projects related to astronomy. The club recently went on a field trip to NASA as well. However, the frequently held astronomy nights are the most popular among students.
“The club is so enjoyable to me because we can connect students to learning experiences they wouldn’t receive in class,” Jeter said.
The Astronomy Club meets every Tuesday and Thursday in Jeter’s classroom in room 930. Students can follow the group on Instagram at @astromsd.