Astronomy Days: Earth and Ocean Worlds

Saturday, January 25 & Sunday, January 26, 2020

Saturday: 9:00am–5:00pm
Sunday: noon–5:00pm

Astronomy Days has many wonderful exhibits and activities. Exhibits will be updated frequently, so check back often!

Age, Weight and Jumping on Other Planets
Raleigh Astronomy Club
How old are you in Martian years? How much would you weigh on Venus?  How high could you jump if you were on Pluto?  Find out the answers to these questions and many more at this exhibit.

Animal Navigation
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Animals use different ways to navigate the planet. Come learn about the ways animals find their way using the Sun, the Moon, the Earth’s magnetic field and more, and how scientists are still learning just how the animals do it!

Animals of the Constellations
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Have you ever wondered how the constellations got their names? There are 88 constellations in the sky and many of them are named after animals! Come meet some of these critters and learn about the mythology and natural history of the animals, as well as how constellations provide a map of the night sky.

Astronomy at Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University
The opportunity to study astronomy and physics at Appalachian State will be demonstrated. They will also demonstrate remote control and observing, weather permitting, by controlling and taking pictures with Appstate telescopes.

Astronomy Days T-Shirt Sales
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Purchase this year’s shirt with its awesome new design!

Astronomy Fact or Fiction?
Raleigh Astronomy Club
Museum visitors will be able to play a Jeopardy-style game where they select a square and get asked a question about astronomy.

Astronomy with Binoculars
Raleigh Astronomy Club
View a display of low-cost astronomy equipment for Astrophotography.

Raleigh Astronomy Club
Come view excellent examples of astronomy photos taken by members of the Raleigh Astronomy Club. Examples of astrophotography gear will be exhibited and members will be available to discuss techniques and processes.

Astrosurf with PARI
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
Move a radio telescope remotely. The telescope lives near Rosman, NC in the western part of the state. PARI staff facilitate you as you control a 12m radio telescope on your own!

Blast Off Rockets
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Create a rocket masterpiece and launch it sky high!

Bring Back the Night Sky
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Light pollution affects all of us on the planet, from astronomers to sea turtles. Find out about this environmental issue and what you can do to help bring back the night sky!

Chapel Hill Astronomical Observing Society
Club members range from precocious teenagers to UNC Astronomy Professors but most members are just enthusiastic amateur astronomers.  Come by and meet them and see what they’re up to.

Constellation Exploration
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Learn about the history and uses of constellations and then use a flashlight to head out into “space” to track down some constellations right here in the Museum!

Create Your Own Planet!
Over the Moon Playspace
Let’s get creative! There are billions of planets in our Milky Way galaxy alone. Most of them have never been seen. Imagine what some of the exoplanets look like and create your own planet to take home!

Current Space Missions
Raleigh Astronomy Club
Information on some unmanned space missions that are underway.

Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Raleigh Astronomy Club
Examine the observational evidence for the existence of dark matter and dark energy, and how they may affect our Universe.

Discovery Room
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Be an astronaut in training! Space-themed activities for our youngest visitors and their families. Build a Duplo space station, search for constellations and finish planetary puzzles. Hours 10–4 Sat, 1–4 Sun.

Drive a Rover on Mars
Cardinal Gibbons High School
Attendees will be able to drive robots on a 25×25-ft Mars map. Students will introduce people to their Open Source-built Mars Rover from JPL.

Dry Ice Comets
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Watch astronomers use everyday supplies to make an out-of-the-world comet. Learn a little about the history of comets and their importance to life here on Earth. Demos will be 11:30am and 2:30pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday.

NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Learn about the methods used for detecting exoplanets and see some models of exoplanets.  We’ll use our own version of the Kepler Space Telescope, a Lego orrery and artificial star to demonstrate the transit method of detecting exoplanets. Visitors can also learn about the Drake Equation and input their own variables to see how many other communicating civilizations might be in our galaxy.  We’ll also have a video illustrating the Fermi Paradox.

Face Painting
Paint Savvy
Themed face painting with aliens, galaxies and other celestial-inspired designs. FEE.

Filtered Light
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
“Exploring the Universe: Filtered Light” demonstrates how scientists can use telescopes and other tools to capture and filter different energies of light to study the Universe. Most objects in the Universe are so distant from us that we can only study them through light. Filters allow us to block some energy levels of light and isolate others; each energy of light can offer new information about the object of study. In “Filtered Light,” participants discover how colored filters can help reveal more about an image. They can also make and study colorful images of their own.

Girl Scouts and Space
Girl Scouts-North Carolina Coastal Pines
Explore the Space Journey from the Girl Scout badge program.

High-Power Rocketry
Tripoli Rocketry Association
Come join an inspiring, educational, family hobby with an unparalleled safety record. “We’re looking for people just like you!”

How Craters Are Formed
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Learn the “hole” story! From the surface of Earth, to the Moon and other celestial bodies, discover the origin, speed and size of the meteors that caused these impressive pockmarks throughout the universe!

If Earth Were the Size of the Daily Planet
Raleigh Astronomy Club
The Museum’s Daily Planet on Jones Street is 70 feet in diameter and may be the largest satellite image of Earth in the world. (The scale is about 9 miles per inch.) This exhibit displays the height of the atmosphere and mountains, the depth of the oceans, relative biomass and much more — all at the same scale as the Daily Planet. Teaser: which weighs more — all of humanity or all the ants on Earth? Come find out the answer!

Imagining Life
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
“Exploring the Universe: Imagining Life” is a hands-on activity in which visitors imagine and draw an extreme environment beyond Earth, then invent a living thing that could thrive in it. They learn that NASA scientists study extremophiles on Earth to imagine the variety of life that might exist elsewhere, and make predictions about where to look for it.

Lights Out Audubon
Wake Audubon Society
Although not completely understood, birds seem to use the stars to help them find their way during migration and are sometimes distracted by city lights, which draw them off course. Learn how the Audubon Society and other organizations are trying to help birds safely arrive at their destinations by advocating for darker skies.

Lunar Lander and Mars Rover Maker Station
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Can you create an amazing robot or spaceship from found materials?  Try your hand at creating your own special machine or recreate a model of the lunar lander or Mars rover!

Mars Rovers
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
In “Exploring the Solar System: Mars Rovers,” participants learn about how scientists and engineers use robotic rovers and other vehicles to explore distant worlds, and experience some of the challenges and teamwork required to navigate a rover across the surface of a planet millions of miles away. Players acting as “Mission Control” and a “Rover” must work together to navigate a large obstacle course. Participants can also design their own rover to fit the particular challenges of exploring a distant planet.

Meet the Raleigh Astronomy Club & Ask the Astronomer
Raleigh Astronomy Club
Meet Raleigh Astronomy Club members, learn about how the club supports astronomy in the greater Raleigh area, find out about upcoming events and check out the Ask an Astronomer booth.  An interactive Speed of Light exhibit will also be on display.

Men on the Moon
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Twelve men have walked on the moon. Learn about their adventures and the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972, which was the last year of manned space flights beyond low-earth orbit.

Moonbear’s Shadow
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Discover laws of space and time by participating in this hands-on activity designed primarily for young visitors and their families. Participants move a flashlight around an object to make and experiment with shadows. The activity can be connected to a storybook about a little bear exploring his own shadow, and also has connections to the geometry of a solar eclipse as the Moon and Sun cast a shadow onto Earth.

Paper Mountains
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
“Exploring Earth: Paper Mountains” lets participants explore the way the shape of the land and the pull of gravity influence how water moves over Earth. By making unique mountain models from crumpled paper and watching how water moves across them, participants can act as Earth scientists, using their observations to make predictions about the future of our planet.

The Physics in Astronomy
NC State University Physics
Find your way here and check out physics demos from NC State University!

Planet Hunters and Investigators
UNC Physics and Astronomy
Learn how to find planets light years away, and figure out what they’re made of!

The Quest for Extraterrestrial Life
NC Academy of Science
From living water bears and vinegar eels to plants small enough to fasten onto necklaces, join the Academy in the spacious Curiosity Classroom for a fun look at life of extreme environments, activities featuring Mars and Earth’s extreme environments, and colorful crafts — Pinwheel Galaxy pinwheels, seed planters, and draw-your-favorite alien sheets.

Robotics in Space
Engineering Opportunity
Learn about the importance of robotics in space through hands-on demonstrations with programmable robots.

Scale of the Universe
Raleigh Astronomy Club
This interactive exhibit created by two high-school-aged brothers will allow you explore the scale of our Universe from the smallest theoretical scales (the Planck length at 1.6 x 10-35 m) to the largest distances of the observable universe (1028 m) and everything in between.

Silent Sky
Burning Coal Theater
Henrietta Leavitt made amazing discoveries at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, but wasn’t allowed to touch a telescope! Come talk to Henrietta about her trials and triumphs ahead of Burning Coal Theater’s production of SILENT SKY.

Sky Stories
Raleigh Astronomy Club
This exhibit features sky stories from around the world, focusing on various cultural interpretations of constellations, the Moon, the Aurora Borealis, and more! There will be activities for all ages and lots to learn.

Solar Observing
Raleigh Astronomy Club
Safely look at the Sun through telescopes from Raleigh Astronomy Club members (weather permitting).

Sparkling Constellation Paintings
Stacy Lewis Studio
Watermedia artist Stacy Lewis will be creating sparkling mixed-media paintings of constellations.

Statewide Star Party: Seeing the Universe
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
Get a sneak preview of some of the activities available at the Statewide Star Party happening across the state in April. Build and launch rockets, take a look through different wavelengths, and see how astronomers observe the Universe!

Sundials and Timedials
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
There is no doubt that the best way to understand the principles of sundials and timedials is to make working models.  From “REC: Paper Toys Permament exhibition” in Jaraba, Spain, we will have some paper models that will let you build your own sundial, learn about the position of the sun, and teach you how to “read” the time of the day!

Telescopes on Display
Raleigh Astronomy Club
Come look at views of the Moon and planets (actually hi-res photos hung up high in the Museum atrium) through member-owned telescopes.  Accept the “challenge at the eyepiece” to locate specific features on the Moon.  See different types of telescopes at work.

Top Places to View the Night Sky
Triangle Land Conservancy
Stop by TLC’s booth to learn more about their preserves, guided sky viewing hikes and family-friendly environmental education activities.