WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Discover Your Universe at Morehead Planetarium’s Family Science Night, Dec. 5

Posted December 2, 2009 12:43 p.m. EST

Please join Morehead Planetarium and Science Center for Family Science Night this Saturday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 9 p.m. In celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, the theme is "Discover Your Universe." Free activities are planned for all ages, from toddlers to adults.

Our Family Science Night will feature presentations by our special guests Johannes Kepler (impersonated by John McFarland, at 6 and 8 p.m.), who discovered how planets move around the Sun, and by Zena Cardman (at 7 p.m.), a UNC student who has participated in NASA research and training missions in the Arctic and the Arizona desert.

Activities will abound throughout the building, and (weather permitting) outside:
• Design a Mars lander, make a Moon crater, find out how extrasolar planets are discovered, create your own constellation, make a star finder, build a galaxy, hear space stories, and warp spacetime.
• If the skies permit, participate in a constellation tour, measure light pollution by counting the stars, and use amateur telescopes to see Jupiter and its moons, the Andromeda Galaxy, and more.
• Tour the Morehead Observatory, where you can peer through the 24-inch reflecting telescope and operate a robotic telescope in Chile.
• In "Science 360" programs, you can guide a virtual Mars rover, estimate how many intelligent civilizations might exist in our galaxy, and discover how astronomers seek to understand the universe by studying its light.
• Inside the star theater, take a live guided tour of the night sky during two special presentations of the Carolina Skies planetarium show – “The Time Machine” (6 p.m.) and “Discovering Planets” (8 p.m.). “Star of Bethlehem” is at 7 p.m.

Regular ticket prices apply for star theater shows. All other activities are free! This event happens rain or shine.