It is easy to forget that there is a big universe just above us. At Salt Lake Community College, a club exists for students interested in astronomy and the cosmos.
The SLCC Astronomical Society was started five years ago. The club was reinstated last fall after being dormant for three years.
“We decided to resurrect it because we love astronomy and are passionate about it,” says club co-founder and incoming president Marley Stark, a major in physics with a minor in astronomy.
The club is named after the Salt Lake Astronomical Society (SLAS), a local private club made up of mostly older members.
“We kind of have a good in with them,” Stark says.
The two groups have plans for several activities, such as star and solar gazing parties at the SLAS observatory complex in Stansbury Park, which holds two of the best telescopes in Utah.
The SLCC Astrological Society will host joint meetings and events with SLAS every third Wednesday of the month during the summer semester.
Additionally, the club hosts its own star parties, weather permitting. Club members and SLCC professors bring their own telescopes to these events.
The SLCC Astronomical Society holds other events to encourage community involvement.
Most recently, the club participated in an all-day event for middle and high school and students at the Lagoon amusement park. More events will be planned in the coming semesters.
“We have a bunch of opportunities for stuff like that,” Stark says. “I love reaching out to people about astronomy and space, because it’s something I feel everyone has interest in.”
The club hopes collaborate with local elementary schools and other educational facilities to teach children more about space and astronomy.
“The future is in the kids’ hands, and if you can inspire them to pursue a career in science or engineering or mathematics … I think that stuff’s really fun to inspire people,” says Stark.
SLCC students interested in learning more about the club can attend meetings at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. The meetings normally include discussions about the latest NASA and astronomy news. Members also watch films and debate philosophical ideas and concepts.
For more information about the SLCC Astronomical Society, browse the club’s Facebook group page.