Extraterrestrial visitors touch down at York’s Carswell Observatory for Halloween extravaganza

Aliens in car at sunset

York’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, in collaboration with the Allan I. Carswell Observatory, welcome attendees of all ages to their Halloween Astronomy Extravaganza on Monday, Oct. 31.

Get ready for an evening that will be fright-filled, inspirational and educational in equal parts.

The extravaganza comprises two ticketed events, the first – Herschel 200th Anniversary: Astronomy, Music, Extraterrestrials – celebrates the monumental achievements of 18th-century astronomer and composer Sir William Herschel.

Since his death in 1822, Herschel’s contributions to science and the arts have continued to influence astronomers and musicians. The discovery of Uranus and a litany of symphonies bearing Herschel’s name are just a few examples of his lasting legacy.

Allan I. Carswell Observatory
Allan I. Carswell Observatory

From 7 to 8 p.m, in Curtis Hall G, at York’s Keele Campus, join Professor Parandis Tajbakhsh as she recounts the cosmic musings of Sir Herschel, spanning an array of topics: from plans to design his own telescopes, to the possibility of life on worlds beyond our own. Tajbakhsh’s lecture is concluded by a selection of Herschel’s own caprices performed by York University student violinists Kay Tozawa, Jesse Tamang and Yusuf Tajbakhsh.

The second event – The Allan I. Carswell Observatory Presents: Herschel and the Haunted Telescope – follows the lecture and musical performances from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Carswell Observatory.

Observatory Director Elaina Hyde guides stargazers and candy-cravers on a Halloween-themed tour, culminating with a viewing of Herschel’s most significant discovery, the planet Uranus, through the observatory’s one-metre lens telescope. Costumes are encouraged and treats will be provided for children at the exit.

Guests are invited to attend both events back-to-back, or either one individually. The Herschel 200th Anniversary lecture and Haunted Telescope events will require free tickets for entry, to register, visit each Eventbrite booking site below for more information and ticket reservations.

Haunted telescope tours will run repeated through the advertised times, attendees should arrive according to the time designated on their tickets.

Visit Herschel 200th Anniversary: Astronomy, Music, Extraterrestrials for details and tickets to this event; visit The Allan I. Carswell Observatory Presents: Herschel and the Haunted Telescope for details and tickets to this event.