Community invited to celebrate National Astronomy Day at Ritter Planetarium

April 27, 2017 | Events, UToday
By Christine Billau

The solar eclipse set to occur this summer will be prominently featured at the sixth annual Astronomy Day celebration hosted by The University of Toledo.

The free, public event, which will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in Ritter Planetarium, will include hands-on, family-friendly activities for kids, UT astronomers sharing their latest research, shows in the planetarium, and a chance to look through the largest optical telescope in the Midwest.

“Astronomy Day is a special event for us each year,” said Alex Mak, UT associate planetarium director. “It is one of the ways we give back to the community for the tremendous support they give us year after year. It also is an opportunity to invite young people to campus to learn about our solar system.”

Programs and activities will include:

• The planetarium show titled “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure” at 1 p.m. followed immediately by Moon Adventure, a hands-on education experience that includes making craters and exploring the “moon” with binoculars;

• A discussion at 5 p.m. about the solar eclipse that will occur Monday, Aug. 21, and be visible from Toledo;

• The Fulldome Festival at 6 p.m., which will include a presentation of three programs along with a live tour of the night sky and a look at the Discovery Channel Telescope;

• A session for adults called Research Talks at 8 p.m. to learn about the cutting-edge investigations that UT faculty and students are involved in, while younger guests watch episodes of “The Zula Patrol” in the planetarium; and

• An open house to tour Ritter Observatory at 9 p.m. Weather-permitting, guests will have the chance to look through UT’s 1-meter telescope, the largest optical telescope in the Midwest.

Members of the Toledo Astronomical Association will be available to answer questions about telescopes and provide solar observing, weather permitting.

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