Michigan State University main website

STEAM Education & Research

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!

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…

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

Hubble Space Telescope field of view in the Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search (SWEEPS)

Please check back soon for a recording of this presentation! The Life and Death of Normal Stars   Are you aware that the great majority of stars are smaller than our sun? That stars can live for millions of years before they die? Or billions of years? Or even trillions of years? It seems almost unbelievable! What factors influence star lifetimes? Do…

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

Image of star birth from Hubble Space Telescope

Please check back soon for a recording of this presentation!   Star Birth: How Our Night Sky Came to Be Zoom link: https://msu.zoom.us/j/98568624049 Password: MSU Did you know that everything we understand about star birth has been learned only in the last hundred years?  There are so many questions for scientists to answer!  What does it actually mean for a star to be…