For the general public, it's a chance for people to see the Moon (just past first quarter), Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars as well as a host of galaxies and nebulae through various telescopes; view special shows and exhibits; and listen to lectures on astronomy and space science. For organizers, Astronomy Day offers a high-profile opportunity to show how much fun and exciting astronomy is for the whole family.
To honor amateur clubs whose activities and displays best exemplify the spirit and objectives of Astronomy Day, Sky & Telescope, in cooperation with the Astronomical League, has presented each year the Sky & Telescope Astronomy Day Award. The recognition, which consists of a commemorative plaque and a $250 gift certificate from Sky Publishing, is usually given at the League's annual convention. This year's convention will be held in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, in August.
For more information on how to enter the S&T Astronomy Day Award, see the Astronomical League's Web site, or go the S&T Astronomy Day page. You can also contact Astronomy Day Coordinator Gary Tomlinson, 30 Stargazer Lane, Comstock Park MI 49321.
Coinciding with this year's Astronomy Day is the 15th annual Northeast Astronomy Forum & Telescope Show (NEAF) at the Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York. Sponsored by the Rockland Astronomy Club and Sky & Telescope, the two-day event attracts up to 3,000 attendees from the US and abroad to hear guest speakers, attend CCD workshops, and, of course, see the latest in telescope equipment, software, and accessories from dozens of commercial vendors.
One of the most popular activities at NEAF is the Solar Star Party. Now on its third year, the star party features daily observations of the Sun from white light to hydrogen alpha, through a variety of telescopes. No entrance fee or registration is required to enjoy views of our daytime star. See the NEAF Solar Star Party Web site for more details.