Cloudy or clear, amateur astronomers will be out across the planet to share their passion for astronomy today. It’s Astronomy Day, an annual event celebrated between mid-April and mid-May on the Saturday closest to the first quarter moon. Astronomical societies, planetariums, museums, and observatories will be sponsoring public viewing sessions, presentations and workshops during the day and others at night.
Doug Berger, former president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California, founded this annual event in 1973 to promote the science and hobby. Since then it’s spread the country and the world. To find out if a cosmic celebration is happening in or near your city, check the Astronomical League’s Astronomy Day Events or the Night Sky Network Calendar. If you don’t find a listing there, call your local planetarium.
Live near my hometown Duluth, Minn.? Ah, you’re in luck! We’ve got a whole day of fun planned at the Marshall W. Alworth planetarium on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The UMD Astronomy Club, Geology Club and Arrowhead Astronomical Society keep things hopping from 10-5:30 p.m.
Colonizing the solar system is the theme of this year’s celebration and includes presentations on asteroid mining, space medicine, hibernation in space and exoplanets. We’ll also have multiple sky shows and talks by club members on astrophotgraphy, Saturn, astronomy lessons from Star Wars and much more.
The Alien Art Drawing competition for the kids is back again this year. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Family Jeopardy Astronomy game modeled after the famed TV show.
Since the sky is beautifully clear today, telescopes will be out in force for safe viewing of the sun. Other telescopes and demonstrations will be set up inside the planetarium.
There’s something for everybody and it’s all free. For directions to the planetarium, click HERE.
Please stop by, ask a question and enjoy the shows!
Here’s a list of shows and times both in the dome and nearby lecture halls:
10:00 a.m. Space movie, colonizing space, Family Astronomy Jeopardy
10:30 Summer Star Show, Intelligence Beyond Earth, Future Missions
11:00 Dynamic Earth movie, Mining Asteroids, Pack Your Bags (kids show)
11:30 Solar System Tour, Space Medicine, Exoplanets
Noon Black Holes movie, Aerospace Engineering, Saturn
12:30 Solar System Tour, Terraforming Mars
1:00 Space movie, Astronomy Lessons from Star Wars, Plants in Space
1:30 Zodiac Star Show, Colonizing the Solar System Workshop
2:00 Dynamic Earth movie, Colonizing the Solar System Workshop
2:30 Solar System Tour, Hibernation in Space
3:00 Native American Star Show, Plants in Space, Asteroid Mining
3:30 Black Holes movie, Astrophotography, Colonizing Space 101
4:00 Solar System Tour, Family Astronomy Jeopardy, Intelligence Beyond Earth
4:30 Summer Star Show, Mythbusters, Astronomy Lessons from Star Wars
5:00 Space movie