Michigan State University main website

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Uranus: The First “New” Planet

January 10 @ 7:00 pm EST


Join on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 for our Family Astronomy night focusing on Uranus. Did you know that Uranus was the first planet to be discovered by science?  And that it is still the only planet to have been discovered by accident?  Have you heard that Uranus is actually visible to the unaided eye?  Why wasn’t it known to ancient astronomers?  Are you aware that Uranus is fundamentally different from its neighbors Jupiter and Saturn?  Why is that, and what evidence do we have for this claim?  And overall, we know far less about Uranus than those two neighbor planets.  Why would that be?  Join me and the MSU St. Andrews STEM Center by Zoom to learn more!

Adults and families with school-age and older children are invited to join us virtually at MSU St. Andrews for a presentation focused on the mighty and distant planet Uranus.  As we often do, we will begin with a history of how Uranus was discovered.  We will also describe the discovery of its rings and its moons, especially the largest moons, known as the “Literary Moons.”  We will describe what we have learned about Uranus through robotic spacecraft, and how scientists are studying Uranus today, including recent updates from space-based as well as ground-based telescopes.  Plus, we will include some information to help you see Uranus for yourself, since this month is a really good time to observe it.

Speaking of which, we will also talk about the amazing skies of January.  Did you know that six of the seven brightest stars visible in northern skies shine in January evenings?  Can you recognize the sparkling Winter Hexagon, which has seven of the brightest twelve stars, all in one small part of the sky?  Add in Jupiter and Saturn and you have a veritable festival of brightness.  Plus, identifying the stars in the Winter Hexagon enables you to find a dozen constellations.  Have you seen brilliant Venus totally dominating the morning sky?  Even more:  there’s a special conjunction of Mercury and Mars at the end of the month!  We will show you how to find all these things (and more) for yourself.

Presentation (virtual only) on Wednesday, January 10, 7:00 PM.

Register now to receive the Zoom login. You may register at anytime including after the start of the presentation.


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


January 10
7:00 pm EST
Event Tags: