Astronomy Days

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 the Age, Weight & Jumping on Other Planets 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 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 astro 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.

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!

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!

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

Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Raleigh Astronomy Club
This exhibit will consists of six posters which will explain the observational history that suggests that dark matter and dark energy exist and are major constituents of our universe. It will present some candidate physical theories which attempt to explain these phenomena.

Drive a Rover on Mars
Cardinal Gibbons High School
Attendees will be able to drive robots on a 25×25 ft Mars map. We will introduce people to our 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 are in our galaxy.  We’ll also have a video illustrating the Fermi Paradox.

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.

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, speech 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 9 miles per inch. This exhibit displays the height of the atmosphere and mountains, the depth of the oceans, relative biomasses and much more- all at the same scale as the Daily Planet. (Teaser: who weighs more- all of humanity or all the ants on Earth? Come and 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 greater Raleigh area, check out upcoming events and check out the Ask an Astronomy both.  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; the last manned space flights beyond low earth orbit.

Moonbear’s Shadow
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Adhere to the 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.

Scale of the Universe
Raleigh Astronomy Club
This interactive exhibit created by 2 high-school aged brothers will allow you explore the scale of our universe from the smallest theoretical scales (the Planck length at 10 to the negative 33rd meters) to the largest distances of the observable universe (10 the 28th meters) and everything in between.

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.

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) thru member owned telescopes.  Accept the ‘challenge at the eyepiece’ to locate specific features on the Moon.  See different types of telescopes at work.