Astronomy Day is May 6 at NU State Museum

Released on 04/19/2006, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, May. 6, 2006

WHERE: University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall) 14th & U Street

Lincoln, Neb., April 19th, 2006 —
color JPEG image of an aurora in
color JPEG image of an aurora in "Nitescapes"

Prizes and a wide variety of cosmic family activities will be featured during Astronomy Day May 6 at the University of Nebraska State Museum.

The Astronomy Day program will feature will feature hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, displays, planetarium shows, and giveaways including a $700 Meade ETX-90EC telescope with tripod courtesy of Meade Instruments Corp. to one lucky winner. Other giveaways from Astronomy Day magazine will include sky charts, posters and magazine subscriptions. Activities and demonstrations will be on robotics, rocketry, space travel, physics, astrophotography, the Hubble telescope, light pollution, constellations and much more. Outdoor activities will be conducted weather permitting.

Astronomy Day will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the museum in Morrill Hall, 14th and U streets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus.

A featured attraction will be "Nitescapes 3-D Aurora and Comets," a slide show presentation by Bryan R. White of Nitescapes 3-D Productions. The program includes 80 images of comets, northern lights and general astronomy in full-color, polarized 3D (using 3D glasses). "Nitescapes 3-D" is accompanied by music composed and played by Jonn Sierre and narrated by White, who will share many of his experiences while explaining some basic science behind the compositions. The program will be presented at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. in Elephant Hall.

In addition, Ralph Mueller Planetarium in Morrill Hall will present the astronomy show "Skyquest" at 11 a.m., noon, and 1, 2 and 3 p.m. "Skyquest" is a family show that introduces the audience to sky gazing.

As added attractions, two observatories in Lincoln will have free public nights in connection with Astronomy Day. The UNL Student Observatory on the Stadium Drive Parking Garage, 10th and T streets, will be open from 9 to 10:30 p.m. May 5 and the city of Lincoln's Hyde Observatory, 3701 S. 70th St. in Holmes Park, will be be open from 8:30 to 11 p.m. May 6.

Presenting organizations for Astronomy Day include Mueller Planetarium, Astronomy Magazine, Meade Telescopes, the Prairie Astronomy Club, Hyde Observatory, the UNL Department of Physics and Astronomy, Neb-Star, the Strategic Air and Space Museum, Nebraska Air National Guard, the Air Force Association, UNL Air Force ROTC and others.

Admission to the NU State Museum is $8 for families, $4 for individual adults and $2 for children, or free with either a valid UNL ID or Friends of the Museum membership. Admission for Mueller Planetarium shows is additional. Tickets to planetarium shows are sold at the museum's front desk and prices are $6 for adults and $4 for UNL students and children. The price includes admission to the museum. Free visitor parking is available in front of Morrill Hall. For more information, telephone (402) 472-2642 or visit the NU State Museum Web site (, or the Mueller Planetarium Web site (

A complete Astronomy Day 2006 schedule follows:

Friday, May 5 -- UNL Student Observatory public night, Stadium Drive Parking Garage, 10th and T streets, 9-10:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 6 -- Astronomy Day, NU State Museum, 14th and U streets, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; public viewing, Hyde Observatory, 3701 S. 70th St. in Holmes Park, 8:30-11 p.m.

For further information:

Mueller Planetarium and Hyde Observatory: Telephone Jack Dunn, planetarium coordinator and Hyde Observatory board chair, (402) 472-2641, e-mail or visit

UNL Student Observatory: e-mail Martin Gaskell, research associate professor of physics and astronomy, ( or visit the observatory Web site (

CONTACT: Jack Dunn, Coordinator, Mueller Planetarium, (402) 472-9462