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Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

May 4 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

Asteroid belt

Asteroids! Plus May’s Total Lunar Eclipse and a Great Planetary Lineup

Did you know that the existence of asteroids was actually predicted before any were detected?  Or that despite this, their first discovery—as well as the prediction itself—was mostly due to chance?  What exactly is an asteroid, anyway?  Where is the “asteroid belt?”  What is it like, and why is it there?  How many asteroids are there, and how big do they get?  Are there enough of them to make a planet if they could only agree to come together?  And if so, why haven’t they done so?  Have you heard of Trojans, Greeks, and other asteroids that reside outside of the asteroid belt?  Why do they do that?  What are asteroids made of?  Finally—are all of them native to our solar system?  And how would we know if they weren’t?  Join us by Zoom to learn more!

Free event! Please register below to receive the Zoom login. You may register up to the presentation start time or even during the meeting to join us.


Time allowed for live Q & A throughout the event. ASL Interpretation featured during the event.

We will describe how asteroids were predicted (sort of) and discovered, how they differ from planets, comets, meteoroids, and other objects, where they reside, and what forces control their behavior.  Along the way we will provide answers to all the questions raised above.  Plus, our monthly technology highlight will focus on the Lucy probe, launched last year, which will visit a number of asteroids.

Plus, we have a rare collection of amazing things happening in the sky this month.  Have you heard that there will be a total lunar eclipse coming up in May, and it will be visible in its entirety from Michigan?  Were you aware that right now is the best time to see Mercury in all of 2022?  And that, right now, all five naked-eye planets (Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn) are easily visible in a single night?  Did you know that mighty Hydra, the largest and longest of all constellations, is now completely visible in the south?  We will help you see all of these things–plus a few more—for yourself.

Please join our mailing list to receive notices about upcoming Astronomy Night presentations and other events at St. Andrews!


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Accommodation for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting 989 374-9904. 

Programming is made possible through the support of several local organizations: the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundationthe Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundationthe Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.


May 4
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
Event Tags:


MSU St. Andrews
(989) 374-9900


Online via Zoom