Astronomy Day 2017

Virtual Reality Demonstration with Kids
April 19, 2017

Saturday, April 22: Free, family-friendly activities to celebrate Astronomy Day and the 50th anniversary of UMD's Alworth Planetarium.

Every year, UMD's Alworth Planetarium encourages people to look up at the stars and contemplate the vastness of our universe as part of International Astronomy Day. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 22 and the general public is invited to visit and enjoy free activities from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Planetarium Director Marc Seigar works with students, volunteers and fellow faculty to organize the gathering. Seigar said, “We look forward to this event and the opportunity to remind people of what a great resource our Planetarium is for the community.”

This is the 50th anniversary year for the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium, so the facility has a long history of providing educational programs and hosting special events.

UMD student and Planetarium Program Coordinator Joshua Wasniewski helps organize Astronomy Day. “We love seeing new people discover this space and it’s fun to show off the technology and programs we have to offer here,” said Wasniewski. “I hope people will take advantage of this free event to check us out and learn some amazing details about our universe while they’re here.”

Activities will include constellation shows, universe tours, virtual reality demonstrations, full-dome planetarium movies and hands-on activities for all ages. More information is available via the Planetarium website.

All of the days’ events are free and open to the public. Members of the Arrowhead Astronomical Society will be on hand to help, too.  Seigar added, “This is an ideal activity for families and a great way to spark curiosity about science and learning more about our world.”

The Planetarium is part of UMD’s Swenson College of Science and Engineering. The college has 3,275 undergraduates and 220 graduate students and is home to ten academic departments, as well as the Large Lakes Observatory, the UMD Air Force ROTC program, and the Iron Range Engineering program. SCSE connects students with hands-on research opportunities through its collaboration with multiple research institutions and area businesses. To learn more, visit: http://www.d.umn.edu/scse/.