Morris Museum Astro Day reaches for the stars March 24Published: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 4:20 PM Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 4:46 PM By Independent PressIndependent PressFollow
A young visitor learns about telescopes at the Morris Museum's Astro Day.
On Saturday, March 24, the Morris Museum and The Morris Museum Astronomical Society (MMAS) will host a fun-filled family event that will take you out of this world. Astronomy programs, children’s activities, solar observing and planetarium shows will be scheduled throughout the day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with night sky observing of the moon, planets and other celestial objects (weather permitting) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Experts from the MMAS will be on hand to provide lectures, telescope training (bring your family’s telescope), solar observation and night sky observing. Museum educators will lead children’s activities throughout the day. (Details on all programs below).All Astro Day activities are included with general museum admission ($7 for children, $10 for adults), except for planetarium shows which are $2 per person.Solar Observation: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.Night Sky Observation: 7 – 9 p.m. (weather permitting)Children’s Activities Throughout the day children can explore astronomy with activities including:- Making a unique key chain with UV beads that change color in the sun- Creating an interplanetary travel poster- Designing an alien- Learning about chromatography with the blues and greens of Planet EarthPlanetarium Shows at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. $2 per personAstronomy Talks: 11-11:45 a.m. EclipsesPaul Blass, Morris Museum Astronomical Society member, will discuss the scientific importance of eclipses. Why, where, and when do eclipses occur, and how are they predicted in advance?Noon -12:45 p.m. “Alien Worlds?”While we once believed the sun was the only star with planets, today we know of hundreds. Is Earth the only planet where life exists? John Scala, Planetarium Director at Lenape Valley Regional High School in Stanhope will lead a discussion on these new-found worlds, and examine our chances of really being alone in the Universe.1 –1:45 p.m. “The End of the World, But Don’t Lose Any Sleep Over It”According to the Mayan calendar, Dec. 21, marks the end of a 5,000 year era. Some are calling this the ‘end of days.’ Hear an enlightening talk on the subject by Al Witzgall, longtime member of Amateur Astronomer’s Incorporated in Cranford, who will consider the science behind this subject.2–2:45 p.m. Solar System Tour – 3DGet a close-up view of the major planets and their moons in this 3D tour, created using actual images from NASA/ESA missions and flybys. Presentation by MMAS member Krishnadas Kootale.3 – 3:45 p.m. “Asteroid Impact” Learn about the history of asteroid impacts on the moon and the Earth in this presentation by MMAS member Joe Molnar.4 – 4:45 p.m. “How Telescopes Work” MMAS member Joe Molnar will give an inside look at the optical workings of telescopes, using lenses and mirrors.For more information about Astronomy Day, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-971-3718. For information about the Morris Museum Astronomical Society, visit MMAstroSociety.org.The Morris Museum is an award-winning, community-based arts and cultural institution which serves the public through the presentation of high caliber permanent and changing exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities. The Museum also offers educational programs, family events, and is home to the Bickford Theatre and its wide range of performing arts offerings. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards. In 2013 the museum will celebrate its Centennial Anniversary.These programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the F.M. Kirby Foundation and the New Jersey Cultural Trust.The Museum is at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown and is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for museum members and is free to the public every Thursday between 5 and 8 p.m. For more information, call 973-971-3700, or visit http://www.morrismuseum.org.
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