Astronomy Day is a grass roots movement designed to share the joy of astronomy with the general population – “Bringing Astronomy to the People.” On Astronomy Day, thousands of people who have never looked through a telescope will have an opportunity to see first-hand what has so many amateur and professional astronomers all excited.
Astronomy Day was born in California in 1973. Doug Berger, then president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California, decided that rather than try to entice people to travel long distances to visit observatory open houses, they would set up telescopes closer to where the people were – busy locations – urban locations like street corners, shopping malls, parks, etc.
His strategy paid off. Not only did Astronomy Day go over with a bang, not only did the public find out about the astronomy club, they found out about future observatory open houses. Since the public got a chance to look through a portable telescope, they were hooked. They wanted to see what went on at the bigger telescopes, so they turned out in droves at the next observatory open house.
For additional information, visit the Astronomical League’s website at https://www.astroleague.org/astronomyday/facts
1:00PM- Eagle Lake Observatory opens for solar viewing and other day time objects
1:30PM- Sarah Devine – Solar Eclipses: What, When, and How Get ready for two upcoming solar eclipses! Annular and Total. Through hands-on activities, we’ll learn the what, when and how of solar eclipses. Bring your questions and get ready to have some Sun-sational fun.
Bio: Sarah Devine has loved astronomy since before she can remember. Her childhood dream job was to be an astronaut. Her love for all things space has allowed her to teach astronomy for over 10 years in multiple settings. From museums and planetariums to community college to 4-H, talking about astronomy and learning with others of all ages is her passion. She’s traveled to major international observatories and has fond memories of traveling to the 2017 total solar eclipse here in the U.S.A.
2:30- Nadia Abuisnaineh – Topic: Psyche: A Trip to an Asteroid! The Psyche Mission, set to launch on October 5th, 2023, is a unique opportunity to study a metal rich asteroid that’s orbiting our Sun between Mars and Jupiter. With over a million asteroids orbiting in the asteroid belt, what makes Psyche an asteroid worth visiting? Get an inside peak at what NASA is planning for this exciting new and upcoming mission!
Bio: Nadia was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For as long as she can remember, she always had a deep fascination with the universe. She was one of those kids in school that knew what she wanted to study in college at a very young age, and that never changed, even as she got older. Her love and enthusiasm for math and science allowed her to pursue a Bachelors of Science Degree in Astrophysics from the University of Minnesota. After graduating in 2011, Nadia dedicated her time and talents to multiple community organizations serving the youth and those in need, another promoting Islamic awareness and education, and an online Islamic University. In 2019, Nadia became a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, where she joined a nationwide team of volunteers that speak to their communities about space and space exploration missions. Soon after, she worked at the Bell Museum, and helped launch their annual Statewide Star Party. She currently resides in Fridley, Minnesota, with her husband and three kids. She spends most of her time teaching her son and daughters how to navigate the world around them. She enjoys watching documentaries, walking around the state’s many lakes, swimming, and stargazing.
3:30- Colin Kilbane Topic: Solar System Tour Come on and take a tour of our amazing solar system. Go on a trip that will explore our own star, the sun and our amazing planets. We will take a look at the myriad of marvelous moons, some larger than the planet Mercury. Don’t worry we won’t forget Pluto , Ceres, and all of our dwarf planets. We will learn how we know what we know about our solar system using technology like telescopes and robotics. We will make our own planet that you will get to take home and hang up at home to remind you of how amazing our solar system is.
Bio: Colin Kilbane has been sharing his STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fun for almost 30 years now. He started making slime and setting off fire alarms with chemistry outreach at Kansas State and the University of Minnesota. A chemist and biochemist by training, he ended up moving on to share his passion for STEM and making things go boom as the Senior Mad Scientist and Operations Director for Mad Science of MN for more than a decade before he made his move to the high school classroom. He has taught chemistry, physical science, robotics, makerspace and physics for the last ten years and does STEM on the side. This year, he started up Gopher STEAM. Gopher STEAM can add some STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART! and math) to any event for any age, preschool on up. Gopher STEAM offers fantastically fun interactive shows, activity tables, birthday parties, scouting programs, classes and now summer camps. Check out more at Gophersteam.com
5:00PM- Dinner break
7:00PM- Laura Hammerbeck – The Northern Lights – dancing lights in the sky that have captivated people for millennia. What are they? When can I see them? Where? Treat yourself to a dazzling light show as you learn about the science of this spectacular phenomenon, and why it has enchanted us throughout the ages.
Bio: Laura is a motivational and inspirational speaker. With over 20 years of teaching and communication experience, she presents solid information in an enthusiastic yet relaxed manner, with an ounce of humor on the side. Laura brings focus and energy to her audience. An amateur astronomer and space junkie, she is eager to share space exploration and study, as well as all its intriguing ideas with people of all ages.
8:00PM- Door prize drawing. Must be present to win!
9:00 PM– Guided Laser Light Constellation Tour with Brad Nasset – MAS Member.