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Springfield Museums, Astronomy Day
May 15, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm EDT
There’s No Place Like Space! Astronomy Day at the Springfield Museums is FILLED with Activities! Join us for an out-of-this-world day at the Museums! Enjoy activities and demonstrations on the Quadrangle Green and in the Science Museum.
Saturday, May 15, 11 am-3:30 pm. We offer in-person and virtual experiences to help all who participate know the stars and planets of our solar system better.
In the Science Museum’s Tolmam Hall at 11:30 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm, Museum Docent Joel Cummings will guide visitors through the science behind the spacesuit that astronauts wear on spacewalks outside of the International Space Station. Visitors will also witness what happens to a marshmallow in the vacuum of space!
Also in Tolman Hall at noon, 1:30 pm, and 3 pm, Kopchynski will give computer-guided tours of Mars, the Moon, and the May night sky.
Out on the Quadrangle, the Springfield Museums’ Family Engagement Team will delight visitors with demonstrations and hands-on activities between 11 am and 3 pm.
Activities include the following:
Orbiting Objects: “Exploring the Universe: Orbiting Objects” is a hands-on activity that invites visitors to experiment with different sized and weighted balls on a stretchy fabric gravity well. The activity models gravitational attraction in space. Participants investigate how changing conditions can cause phenomena like stellar wobble and planet formation.
Nebula Spin Art: In this activity, participants will learn about how gigantic clouds of gas and dust in space, called nebulas, are formed. They’ll create their own colorful model nebula using paint and a spinner. Because of the unique quantities and locations of the materials and the forces that spread them out, each model nebula will be unique—just like each real nebula!
Filtered Light: “Exploring the Universe: Filtered Light” demonstrates how scientists can use telescopes and other tools to capture and filter different energies of light to study the universe. Most objects in the universe are so distant from us that we can only study them through light. Filters allow us to block some energy levels of light and isolate others; each energy of light can offer new information about the object of study. In “Filtered Light,” participants discover how colored filters can help reveal more about an image. They can also make and study colorful images of their own.
All Astronomy day activities are included at no extra charge with Museums admission for the day. Mask and social distancing requirements will be observed throughout the day in all locations.
Astronomy Day is a national event that was started in 1973 by Doug Berger, the president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California. His intent was to set up various telescopes in busy urban locations so that passersby could enjoy views of the heavens. Over the years, Astronomy Day has grown into an international event, with hundreds of museums, planetariums, and astronomy clubs participating. The Springfield Museums have been celebrating for many years, introducing thousands of people to the stars.