Warren Public Library will host an astronomy talk at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26 in the Slater Room, giving everyone a chance to learn about the cosmos.
The talk will be conducted by members of the Marshall Martz Memorial Observatory on Robin Hill near Frewsburg, N.Y.
Organizer Mary Putnam said astronomy is a hobby of hers.
"I didn't think I could let the International Year of Astronomy go by without celebrating it," she said. "The library was a logical place to do that."
The celebration coincides with the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope by Galileo Galilei, Putnam said.
Jupiter and its moons are also visible this month, which Galilei studied, Putnam said.
"On clear evenings, I've been out in my front yard with a telescope," she said. "The moons have been in different places each night. It's good that Jupiter's out when we're celebrating the anniversary."
Putnam said she contacted Warren Library Director Patty Sherbondy in the spring.
"They were receptive," she said. "I belong to the Martz Observatory Society and I talked with some of the members. They were willing to do the talk."
Light pollution will be one of the topics discussed, Putnam said.
"There's great interest in having a dark sky," she said. "So many cities and towns are losing it because of the glare."
To achieve a dark sky, Putnam said lights should be pointed downward.
"Shoebox lighting and five-sided boxes do this," she said. "The best examples in our community are the new Northwest Savings facility off Route 62 in North Warren, Community Eye Care and the new (U.S.) Forest Service building."
Light pollution not only affects astronomers, but is also counter-productive, Putnam said.
"It's not efficient," she said. "Much energy is wasted when light is directed upward."
Putnam said it was difficult to know how many people would attend the presentation.
"Back in 1995, the library hosted brown bag lunch talks," she said. "I was asked to talk about astronomy and there were 45 of us."
Putnam said she hopes those who attend the presentation develop a curiosity of the night sky.
"Most people don't pay attention to it," she said. "There are so many distractions for people. It's cold on winter nights and muggy on summer nights."
Astronomy is also overlooked in schools, Putnam said.
"There is so much other subject matter consuming students' and teachers' time," she said.
Pre-registration will be appreciated; call the library at 723-4650 and leave name and phone number.