Astronomy Days

Saturday, January 26 & Sunday, January 27, 2019

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 & 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.

Ancient Navigation
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
We will be demonstrating tools and techniques used by ancient people to navigate by the stars, Moon, Sun and Earth’s magnetic field.

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 and Astrophysics Research Lab
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
The Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab will be open all weekend for Astronomy Days! Come meet Museum astronomers Dr. Rachel Smith and Dr. Patrick Treuthardt, plus their students and interns, who will be describing their research and outreach programs. The lab will also be showcasing cutting-edge space visualization software called OpenSpace, a NASA-funded collaboration led by the American Museum of Natural History, in New York. Visitors will see the latest in solar system and planetary fly-throughs, and how real mission data is being used to create this amazing new open-source educational tool!

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

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.

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 bring it outside to shoot it into the sky!
Activity Sponsor:
Pepsi Logo

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 Astronomy and Observational Society
Club members range from precocious teenagers to UNC Astronomy Professors but most of us are just enthusiastic amateur astronomers.  Come by and meet us and see what we’re up to.

Code a Robot through Space!
Curriculum Pathways
Code in space with the Curriculum Pathways team.  Navigate a Sphero robot through space using our free coding app, CodeSnaps!  Test your coding skills and join us for hands on fun.

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.

Discovery Room
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Hours: 10am-4pm Saturday, 1pm-4pm Sunday.
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.

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, Micro World Investigate Lab
Watch astronomers use everyday supplies to make an out-of-this-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.

Raleigh Astronomy Club
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.

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 Are Over the Moon for Astronomy!
Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines
Discover, Learn, and Explore; that is just part of the fun of being a Girl Scout. Stop by our table to join the fun.

Green Roof Solar Observing
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
See our star up close at Astronomy Days! Astronomers will set up solar telescopes on the 4th floor terrace of the Nature Research Center to safely view the Sun with special filters. You’ll see fascinating solar surface features and solar storm ejections, and possibly a few sun spots! Scientists and experienced volunteers will be on-hand to explain and answer questions. 1:00pm–2:30pm, both days, weather permitting.

Hide and Seek Moon
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
“Exploring the Solar System: Hide and Seek Moon” is an engaging way for early childhood learners to experiment with some of the tools scientists use to study objects that are very, very far away, and to learn about how cultures around the world have viewed the Moon. Easy-to-use binoculars and a hidden object Moon poster let young participants discover how some tools can make distant objects appear closer and brighter, and the Moon Rope storybook shares a story of one of the ways people have made meaning out of the shapes they see on the Moon.

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, 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.

Keeping Sea Turtles in the Dark
Bald Head Island Conservancy
Find out how nesting sea turtles are led astray from on shore light pollution and how you can prevent it. Then you can make a fun sea turtle craft to bring home!

Lights Out for Birds
Wake Audubon Society
Most migrating birds travel at night and use the stars to help them navigate to their destination. The Audubon Society helps these birds by encouraging cities and individuals to turn off their lights when not in use so that both birds and people can see the night sky.

Lunar Landers and Mars Rovers 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 and Ask the Astronomer
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Meet Raleigh Astronomy Club members, learn about how the club supports astronomy in the greater Raleigh area, check out upcoming events and check out the Ask an Astronomy 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 — the last manned space flights beyond low earth orbit.

Meteorites Under a Microscope
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
See what meteorites look like under special microscopes where the earth tones of hand samples turn into a myriad of bright colors and interesting shapes.

Mission: Collisions
UNC-Chapel Hill Society of Physics Students
“Mission: Collisions” will feature demos on crater formation and collisions, a lunar lander building activity, and trivia, brought to you by undergraduate physics students from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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 also has connections to the geometry of a solar eclipse as the Moon and Sun cast a shadow onto Earth.

Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State
Appalachian State University
Get information on the physics and astronomy program at Appalachian State, including information on our Dark Sky Observatory and opportunities to study astronomy.

The Physics in Astronomy
NC State University Physics
Check out physics demos from NC State!

Pocket Solar System and Orbiting Objects
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
There is a lot of space in our solar system — come learn about planets, moons and other objects and how gravity influences their orbits!

The Quest for Extraterrestrial Life
NC Academy of Science
Tardigrades and other organisms that inhabit extreme environments on Earth may provide important clues about life on other planets.  The NC Academy of Science exhibit features living tardigrades, games that focus on extreme environments, and crafts and activities that highlight fantastic life on Earth.

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 10-33 meters) to the largest distances of the observable universe (1028 meters) and everything in between.

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

Solar System Sightseeing
UNC-Chapel Hill Physics and Astronomy
Take a trip through our solar system, and enjoy the sights and objects along the way!

Sparkling Constellation Paintings by Stacy Lewis
Stacy Lewis Studio
Stacy Lewis will be creating some of her original watermedia constellation paintings with sparkling Swarovski crystal “stars.”

Statewide Star Party: The Moon and Beyond
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. Learn about our initial impressions of the Lunar surface, and think about what you would comment if you were touching down another world. Add your first words and see what other Astronomy Days participants would say!

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.