SU Dark Nights make space moves

photo courtesy of SU Dark Nights
photo courtesy of SU Dark Nights
Soleil Barros Journal Staff
The newly founded Suffolk University Dark Nights Club hosts a weekly meeting for students interested in astronomy. As members of the e-board returned from studying abroad in Spain with Raul and Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, they reminisced on the lectures on supermassive black holes, pulsars, quasars, Uranus, and globular clusters. Although Suffolk does not offer any astronomy courses, as of last spring, students have received a recent break in the astrological community on campus.

“We took astronomy courses while we were in Spain and wanted to take an astronomy course once we returned and couldn’t. We wanted to have an amateur astronomy club where we could all gather together and talk about astronomy,” said president Hannah Stein.
“It’s different when you’re in a dome and part of the architecture while in an observatory,” she added.
Last spring, members of SU Dark Nights proposed the idea as a new organization to Suffolk’s Student Leadership and Involvement (SLI) Office, and were approved with enough time to plan ahead for the 2011-2012 school year. Students involved in the club attend public observatories each week, share different documentaries on space and discuss new breakthroughs in the astrological society.
While in Spain, the students involved in the course traveled to the Canary Islands to view the second largest observatory in existence.
“I’ve been twice. It’s actually one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. I learned so much in a week’s time; professors Raul and Carlos de la Fuente Marcos really promote everyone learning,” said Vice President Natalie Favati.
The SU Dark Nights meet every Tuesday during activity hour, when they host weekly lessons based on what sparks the interest of the members in attendance. Last week’s topic was focused on black holes. In the past, the club has presented guest speaker Jay Bernal, a student physics major to give a presentation on anti matter.
“There isn’t a class here and we can’t envelop it in an academic way, through a class we decide to get together this way,” says Stein.
With much self-promotion, the club’s first meeting attracted 20-25 students. Presently there are 12-15 devoted members part of the star-loving club.
“I hope to take charge next year and continue the club while recruiting more members. We are making space moves,” said Treasurer Pat O’ Brian. “I enjoy being able to work with people who are really interested in astrology, and make it more appealing to people who may have not known anything about astrology before.”
O’Brian is the only member of the club’s e-board who will be returning to the university next year.
Members spend time together outside of the weekly meetings, especially at events. Past events have included board game ‘Challenge the Zodiac’, Astro Jepordy and snacking on Space Pizza. Future events the SU Dark Nights Club is planning to host include a rocket-building contest, a space party hosted at Harvard University and Boston University, an adventure to visit the Planetarium, and a star-gazing trip to Suffolk’s 75-acre lot in Maine. The group also shares “Astro facts” from its Facebook and Twitter accounts.