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Family Astronomy Night

Typically, astronomy night is held in-person at the MSU St. Andrews building in Midland. Events include family-oriented activities and stargazing through various telescopes. We will return to hosting our in-person events as soon as possible. We are excited to continue to deliver fun and engaging astronomy night events to you via Zoom for this fall season.

Monthly virtual presentations include finding the planets and other cool things currently in the night sky. We will also keep you updated on what is happening in space and technology. Time is allowed during each of our live (virtual) events to answer questions from participants. Each presentation offers, upon request, printable sky charts, and other materials for your home use.

Please see the information below for upcoming events and recordings of past virtual Family Astronomy Night presentations.

You may also follow us on Facebook or  join our mailing list to receive notices about upcoming Astronomy Night presentations and other events at MSU St. Andrews.

Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

Neutron Stars, Pulsars, Supernovae: How Very Large Stars Die – Join Dr. Stark on Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 pm via Zoom for the next Family Astronomy Night.

Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

Image of Andromeda Galaxy

Please check back soon for a recording of this presentation!

Deep-Sky Objects: Marvels Of The Night

Did you know that there are many objects you can see in the night sky that are neither stars nor planets? Were you aware that many clusters or clouds of glowing deep-space gas can be seen with your unaided eye, and dozens more are visible with simple binoculars? Have you heard that some deep-sky objects are so large and bright that we can see them even though they are thousands of light-years away, up to halfway across the galaxy? And that there are even other galaxies that we can see with our unaided eye? And what are the planets and constellations doing in our skies in October? Join us by Zoom to learn more!

Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

Image of planet Venus

Please check back soon for a recording of this presentation!

Venus: Our Brightest Planet

Did you know that Venus is the brightest object in the night sky other than the Moon—so bright that it is often mistaken for an airplane? Or that these next several months are the best times to see Venus in the evening since early in 2020, and that it won’t be this nice again until spring of 2023? Are you aware that humans have sent nearly forty missions to the planet Venus—and that almost half of them failed? Have you heard that the surface temperature of Venus is hot enough to melt lead, and the surface pressure is great enough to crush a submarine? And what are the other planets and constellations doing in our skies in September? Join us by Zoom to learn more!

Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

The latest view of Saturn from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures exquisite details of the ring system

Saturn:  Our Most Beautiful Planet Did you know that Saturn is the furthest of the planets that we can easily see with our unaided eye?  Have you heard that, while Saturn is many times larger and heavier than Earth, it is so light for its size that it would float on water?  Are you aware that, while humans have sent nearly 50…

Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

Image of Apollo 4 Launch

Please check back soon for a recording of this presentation!

A Brief History of Rockets

What do the Apollo missions, the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, every planetary mission, and most of the world’s nuclear deterrent forces have in common?  They all depend on rockets!  But what, exactly, is a rocket?  How does it differ from supersonic or hypersonic travel?  Who invented the rocket?  Are there different kinds of rockets?  Why do some have multiple “stages”?  How were rockets first used?  When was the first manned rocket, or the first mission to other planets?  Speaking of planets—what are the planets and constellations doing in our skies in July?  Did you see Midland’s partial solar eclipse last month?  Join us via Zoom to learn more!