Explore the sky during Starry Night Nov. 12 at the Florida Museum

October 28th, 2010

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Experience the universe like never before at the fourth annual Starry Night from 4 to 10 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Join astronomy experts from the Alachua Astronomy Club, the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium, Santa Fe College and the University of Florida for interactive discussions, question-and-answer sessions and hands-on activities throughout the night.

“Last year’s event was extremely successful and visitors really enjoyed the activities and presentations,” said Rachel Greiner, education assistant at the Florida Museum. “Starry Night 2010 will continue the tradition of a free, family-friendly event with something for visitors of all ages.”

Outside, visitors can take part in a solar viewing beginning at 4 p.m., and later observe stars and planets through telescopes provided by the Alachua Astronomy Club. Astronomers from Santa Fe and UF will also be available to answer questions.

At 5:30, inside the museum, visitors may discuss popular astronomy topics with experts, view a 3-D show about the universe presented by the UF astronomy department, and try to lift the 70-pound Campo del Cielo meteorite. Younger visitors will enjoy hands-on activities including arts and crafts and creating a model satellite with K’NEX building toys.

Each visitor will receive a “Passport to the Universe” to document their activity participation. Visitors who complete the passport will have the opportunity to win special prizes, including tickets to the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium.

The event will also include a special presentation about one of astronomy’s most interesting topics, extra solar planets, which are planets that do not orbit the sun. Artist Tim Malles, who contributed brass plaques to the Gainesville Solar Walk project on Northwest Eighth Avenue, will also display pieces from his collection of astronomy-inspired art.

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Writer: Leeann Bright
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu