April 2022
Star Talks and Time Travel
Exploring the Night Sky with the Prescott Astronomy Club

On a clear night in Prescott, most anyone can step out of their door, look up, and see a blanket of glittering stars, the Milky Way stretching between horizons, the steady glow of a planet, or the quick flash of a meteor streaking across the sky. The relatively low amount of light pollution in Prescott and around Northern Arizona gives residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy dark skies at night, something Brian Blau, vice president of the Prescott Astronomy Club, hopes to share and explore with the community.

Blau may be new to the Prescott area and the club, but he’s no stranger to astronomy. An interest in photography and digital photo editing evolved into a love of astrophotography and ultimately astronomy. “You’re looking at light from celestial objects that are very, very far away,” Blau stated. “When you put your eye to a telescope . . . and you capture that light, it came all the way from that distant place just for you to look at. And that’s something that’s kind of unique. You don’t really find a lot of hobbies where you can be in nature and interacting with something that’s really quite old.” He expanded on this, noting, “when you look into space, you’re seeing back in time. And the more you zoom in, the farther out you look, the farther back in time you look. The light that you’re seeing was generated well before humans were ever alive — before the dinosaurs were alive — and it traveled all that way for you to see.”

Before moving to Prescott Blau was a member of the Tri-Valley Stargazers of Livermore, California, where he served on the board and led a largely successful fundraising campaign to rebuild the club’s Hidden Hill Observatory after its tragic destruction in a 2020 wildfire. Blau brings this experience and his enthusiasm for astronomy to Prescott, where he hopes to help rebuild, promote, and grow the Prescott Astronomy Club.

Along with many other passionate and knowledgeable members of the club, Blau helps host and take part in the club’s many educational, social and fun events, where non-members are always 

welcome. At Starry Nights club members share their telescopes and knowledge with each other and the community. These stargazing events occur throughout the year, at either Pronghorn Park in Prescott Valley or the Highlands Center for Natural History in Prescott, weather permitting. Community groups and members can also request private Star Parties. The club holds open meetings on the first Wednesday of each month as well as third-Thursday Star Talks at the Library, with funding help from Friends of the Prescott Public Library. These events feature experienced speakers on on a variety of subjects relevant to astronomy, such as the exploration of Mars, meteorites, histories of observatories and mirror labs, and much more.

Like the club, the Prescott Public Library encourages members of the community to get outside, explore, learn and have fun. Using state and federal grants, the library has been able to add telescopes to its circulating Library of Things. These and other items, like hiking kits and wifi hotspots, are available to check out for patrons with a valid library card. 

Anyone with an interest in astronomy, regardless of experience or ownership of a telescope, is welcome to become a member of the Prescott Astronomy Club. To learn more about club activities and events or to join, visit prescottastronomyclub.org.

To learn more about Prescott Public Library programs or its Library of Things, visit or call the Ask a Librarian desk at 928-777-1526.

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