Celebrate Colorado Astronomy Day this Saturday!

by Treloar Bower, Curator of Education

The other evening, my 3-year-old daughter announced that she wanted to stay awake to watch the sun come up. She would be “patient” (her word) and sit, waiting for the sunrise. I suggested she take a nap to help pass the time because the sun wouldn’t rise again for at least 10 hours. Ultimately, she was making a bid to delay bedtime. She asked me lots of questions: “Where is the sun right now?” “What is a planet?”  “Where did the moon go?” I discovered that while explaining astronomy to a toddler has certain challenges, I’m thrilled that she is interested in space and I want to do everything I can to encourage her curiosity.

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On Saturday, we’ll celebrate Colorado Astronomy Day here at the Museum. Some people wonder how we can explore astronomy during the day, but it’s quite easy. In fact, the closest star to our own planet can only be seen during the day! If you’re baffled by that statement, then you must have forgotten that our Sun is a star. Members of the Northern Colorado Astronomy Society will be here Saturday, one of whom has a sun scope – we can actually view the sun up-close by peering through this special instrument! The photosphere (visible surface of the sun) is covered with interesting structures, including sunspots and granules, which can be seen with the naked eye.

Planetariums are the other way to study astronomy during the day and lucky us, we have one! We can project the night sky in our domed StarLab theater to help visitors learn the locations of constellations while listening to the both the mythology stories behind the constellations and the science of the stars that form them. See our website calendar to get all the information about this Saturday’s events.

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