The universe is a big deal – celebrate it today!

Solar observing on Astronomy Day 2011. Photo: Bob King

Need a little sparkle of the stellar kind in your life? Today is National Astronomy Day, when astronomers and astronomy organizations share their passion, knowledge and telescopes with the public. Check your newspaper or go online to find out if your local college or astronomy club plans a celebration. You can also check a national list of events HERE.

If you’re anywhere near Duluth, Minnesota I’d like to cordially invite you to our local cosmic gala at the Alworth Planetarium on the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (April 28) and includes a ton of fun stuff — dark sky shows every half-hour under the dome, workshops, kids’ activities, a raffle, and one of my favorites, the Alien Art Competition.

Entry from a previous Alien Art Competition.

If the weather’s good, members of the Arrowhead Astronomical Society will set telescopes up outside for safe sun and sunspot viewing. Got a burning astronomy question? People in the know will help you answer it. Show topics cover everything from UFOs to Native American skies to astrophotography.

The theme for the day will be life in the universe. Microscopes will be set up for you to marvel at pond life and other small creatures we rarely think about but with whom we share the planet every day.

Come on down! Take Woodland Avenue to College Street, turn down University Drive and follow the signs.

For a complete schedule of today’s events, click over to the MWA Planetarium’s helpful website.

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