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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. In the meantime, we are excited to continue to deliver fun and engaging astronomy night events to you via Zoom.

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, 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!

Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

Image of the Sun

The End of the Sun:  How Large Stars Die The Sun has been a constant source of light, warmth, and life for all of human history.  But, will it always be this way?  What will happen as the Sun ages?  Will it get colder?  Hotter?  Larger?  Smaller?  Believe it or not, the answer to ALL of these questions is—yes!  Have you ever…

Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

Artist rendering Space Telescope Delivers the Goods: 2,200 Possible Planets

Please check back soon for a recording of this presentation! Exoplanets: Other Worlds Beyond Our Solar System People have known about planets since ancient times.  But all of those planets orbit our sun.  What about all the other stars?  Astronomers have been hoping to find planets around them—exoplanets—for centuries.  Yet did you know that not a single exoplanet was found to orbit…

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

brown dwarf

Please check back soon for a recording of this presentation! Brown Dwarfs: More Numerous than Stars? What if a star tries to form but doesn’t quite make it?  What happens then?  Have you heard that such objects might be more common in our universe than normal stars?  And that, despite this, none are visible with the unaided eye, and that astronomers with…