Festivites will be held throughout Mexico to raise awareness and enjoyment of astronomy. On February 26th, 2011, the Night of Stars will see organized events occurring simultaneously, across 30 locations dotted around the country. 200 institutions are involved, including the French Embassy and the Alliance Française network. The Night of Stars will be linking up with France, to render this a truly international galactical occasion.
The Night of Stars has been scheduled to coincide with both Jupiter and Saturn being visible to the naked eye. In the clear Mexican skies, Jupiter will be seen from 8pm, while Saturn will rise over the horizon from 9.30pm. This will also be a great opportunity to peer at the nebula, just below Orion's belt, where new stars are being formed.
Throughout the country, hundreds of professional and amateur astronomers will be on hand to guide newcomers with their star-gazing. There will be telescopes for people to peer through; as well as constellations pointed out, that can be seen without equipment.
Events also include lectures, workshops and exhibitions, all designed to introduce astronomy and educate attendees on their place in the cosmos. Of course, this wouldn't be Mexico, if there wasn't also a party going on. Cultural and artistic displays are also on the programme, though obviously nothing that will cause light pollution!
To learn more about the Night of the Stars, and to see what is happening in your location, then please visit the Noche de las Estrallas 2011 website. The English language version may be consulted with a little help from Google Translate: Night of the Stars 2011. All are welcome!
These festivities are part of Mexico's involvement in the International Year of Chemistry. As such, many of the workshops will concentrate on the chemical make-up of the universe.
Several other events will be held in Mexico, during 2011, to celebrate humanities achievements in chemistry. Please consult the official website for news on all that is happening.