Spring Astronomy Day 2016

Don't have any weekend plans? You do now! Join your local amateur astronomy community in celebrating Spring Astronomy Day.

Silhouette of telescopes

Scopes are the ready for observing at Grand Canyon National Park, June 2013
Michael Quinn / National Park Services

Amateur astronomy clubs, planetariums, science museums, and parks celebrate Astronomy Day twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall. Astronomy Day dates back to 1973, when Doug Berger, then president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California, decided to take advantage of local resources to "bring astronomy to the people."

Today, more than 40 years later, the day is celebrated across the United States and Canada, as well as in many countries around the world. Many types of institutions participate: observatories often hold open houses, astronomy clubs host observing events (in the daytime as well as at night!), and planetariums schedule special shows aimed at a general audience.

Sound interesting? Below are just a few possibilities for Astronomy Day activities. If you don't belong to an astronomy club and want to find a local club or planetarium that's hosting an event, check out our directory of clubs, observatories, planetariums, and science museums from around the world. Many groups host events on other dates that better suit their needs, so be sure and check their calendars for alternate dates.

Events

International

Abu Dhabi Al Sadeem Astronomy Day, Friday, May 13, 2016,  beginning 1:00 p.m., The Mall at World Trade Center

Canada Aviation and Space Museum Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 10:00 a.m.–10:30 p.m., 11 Aviation Parkway, Ottawa

Canada RASC Niagra Centre International Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. and 6:00–11:00 p.m., Niagra Falls

Canada Okanagan Science Centre International Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Vernon

Canada Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Royal BC Museum Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Victoria

Canada RASC Edmonton Centre Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.–11:00 p.m., multiple sites, Edmonton

United States

Alaska International Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Anchorage Museum, 7th and C Street, Anchorage

Arizona, Huachuca Astronomy Club Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Sierra Vista City Library, 2600 E Tacoma Street, Sierra Vista

Arizona, Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association International Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 12:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., 3482 E River Road, Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, Tucson

Arkansas Central Arkansas Astronomical Society National Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, daytime activities and 8:00–10:00 p.m., Visitor Center, Pinnacle Mountain State Park

California Community Observatory Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 6:30–10:30 p.m., 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville

California Peninsula Astronomical Society Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, beginning 8:00 p.m., $3 parking fee, Foothill College Observatory, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos

Connecticut Starry Safari Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., The Children's Museum, West Hartford

Florida Brevard Astronomical Society Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 6:00–10:00 p.m., Eastern Florida State College Planetarium, Cocoa Campus

Georgia Oglethorpe Astronomical Association Astronomy Day & Gazing in the Garden, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 3:00–6:00 p.m. and 8:00–10:00 p.m., Lakeside Pavilion, Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, Savannah

Illinois Northwest Suburban Astronomers Club Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, beginning 5:30 p.m., Building Z, Harper College, Des Plaines

Illinois River Bend Astronomy Club Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 8:00–10:00 p.m., Rinderer Park, Veteran’s Honor Parkway and Trestle Road, Highland

Indiana Evansville Astronomical Society Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, beginning 11:00 a.m., Evansville Museum, Evansville / night-time viewing at Audubon Park, Henderson (Kentucky)

Kentucky East Kentucky Science Center Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 12:00–4:00 p.m., East Kentucky Science Center, Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Prestonsburg

Kentucky West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 12:00–4:00 p.m., night-time viewing, Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory, Land Between The Lakes

Kentucky Evansville Astronomical Society Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, night-time viewing at Audubon Park, Henderson / daytime beginning 11:00 a.m. at Evansville Museum (Indiana)

Louisiana Highland Road Park Observatory, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 3:00–11:00 p.m., Baton Rouge

Louisiana Louisiana Art & Science Museum National Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, beginning 10:00 a.m., 100 River Road South, Baton Rouge

Massachusetts, Springfield Museums Annual Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 12:00–4:00 p.m., 21 Edwards Street, Springfield

Michigan, Cranbrook Institute of Science Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 1:00–4:00 p.m., Bloomfield Hills

Michigan, Kalamazoo Astronomical Society, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Portage District Library, beginning 7:00 p.m., Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo

Oregon, OMSI Star Party: Astronomy Day Celebration, Saturday, May 14, 2016, beginning 7:00 p.m., Rooster Rock State Park (22 miles east of Portland) and L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park, (34 miles wets of Portland)

Pennsylvania Astronomical Society of Harrisburg, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 8:30–11:30 p.m., Naylor Observatory, 670 Observatory Drive, Lewisberry

Tennessee West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 12:00–4:00 p.m., night-time viewing, Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory, Land Between The Lakes

Virginia, International Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 9:00–10:30 p.m., High Bridge State Park, Center of High Bridge, parking: Camp Paradise Road, Rice, or River Road, Farmville

Washington, Astronomy Day At Pacific Science Center, Sunday, May 22, 2016, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Seattle

West Virginia, Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society, Saturday, May 21, 2016, beginning 6:00 p.m., Breezy Point Observatory, Camp Virgil Tate, Cross Points

Wisconsin, Barlow Planetarium Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 12:00–5:00 p.m. and 8:00–10:30 p.m., University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, Menasha

Need Help Planning an Event?

Jorge González / CC BY-SA 2.0

Jorge González / CC BY-SA 2.0

To help organizations and individuals plan Astronomy Day programs, the Astronomical League and Sky & Telescope partnered to write the Astronomy Day Handbook. Written by David H. Levy and updated by Gary Tomlinson, the 76-page guide offers suggestions for conducting large and small programs. It also includes the rules and entry forms for the Astronomy Day Award, a prize co-sponsored by Sky & Telescope, the American Astronomical Society, and the Astronomical League. The award is given annually to the groups whose programs do the best job of "Bringing Astronomy to the People."

Also available for printing and handing out is the Astronomical League's The ABCs of Stargazing sheet, which can help you explain the basics of our hobby to newcomers. You can also distribute our Good Outdoor Neighbor Lighting flyer, an information sheet on light pollution and how we can work together to minimize it.

2 thoughts on “Spring Astronomy Day 2016

  1. Bob-PatrickBob-Patrick

    J.R. …

    Thanks for the reminder about this weekend’s events.

    …Bob Patrick

Comments are closed.