On December 6, Bear Essential News and Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium soared into the universe with world-renowned astrophotographer Sean Parker. Facilitated by Shipherd Reed, Flandrau's marketing and communications director, the conversation with Parker traveled from Tucson to Iceland to Norway and down under to the sprawling landscapes of Australia.

This lecture begins a new direction for Bear Essential News as we look into hitting our 40th year, continuing to bridge our community, offer resources to Arizona educators and families. For more information about future workshops and lectures, sign up for our newsletter here.

Below are just some of the coverage from the evening from Marissa Heffernan, the science editor of the award-winning Arizona Daily Wildcat, and KOLD News 13 and KSMB 11 in Tucson.

Click the image above to watch the video from Tucson News Now.

Stars, storms and Sean Parker

Local astrophotographer shows work, tells stories at Flandrau

by Marissa Heffernan, Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sean Parker, Tucsonan and internationally recognized astrophotographer, has aurora borealis socks. The green socks act as a lucky charm to help him capture the photos he’s known for.

That inside joke was just one thing Parker shared with a nearly full house on the evening of Dec. 6 at Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium. Over 100 people turned out to view some of Parker’s time lapse videos and photographs of the night sky, as well as hear him talk about what goes into each image, at the Sean Parker’s Universe event.

The discussion was facilitated by Shipherd Reed, associate director of communications at Flandrau. The event was put on with the help of Bear Essentials News.

“There’s a great connection between the art of astrophotography and the science of astronomy, and of course the [University of Arizona] is a world leader in astronomy,” Reed said. “Flandrau is excited to be partnering with Sean, and it’s a great way to use the capabilities of the planetarium theater and projection system.”

Parker got his start in astrophotography nearly by accident, and he rose to fame through social media. He told the crowd that he had gone to Sky Bar in 2012 with friends and an astronomer there showed him how to take a photo with his phone through the telescope.

“It wasn't until I stumbled into Sky Bar and took that first picture that it really opened my eyes,” Parker said. “After that, it just went from there. I borrowed my friend Jordan’s Canon 40D … I borrowed it for a whole year. It blew me away.”

Read More: Stars, storms and Sean Parker: Local astrophotographer shows work, tells stories at Flandrau