NU State Museum sets Astronomy Day for May 7 at Morrill Hall

Released on 04/20/2011, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, May. 7, 2011

WHERE: University of Nebraska State Museum, Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine Streets map]

Lincoln, Neb., April 20th, 2011 —

Astronomy Day will be celebrated May 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine streets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus.

Prizes and a variety of hands-on activities about space, science and astronomy will be featured at this fun-filled event for all ages. This event is part of a year-long celebration of the museum's 140th anniversary. Regular museum admission will be charged.

Activities and demonstrations will be on planets, space travel, physics, telescopes, meteorites, optics, the moon and more. Other attractions include the fulldome show "Touching the Universe." It will be presented at 11 a.m., noon, and 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Running time is 30 minutes. Planetarium admission is in addition to museum admission. Tickets are sold at the front desk of Morrill Hall.

Presenting organizations at Astronomy Day include Mueller Planetarium, Prairie Astronomy Club, Hyde Memorial Observatory, Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, the UNL Department of Physics and Astronomy, the UNL Microgravity University team from the UNL College of Engineering, the Air Force Association and others.

Those who attend the event will have a chance to win a Celestron 50th Anniversary FirstScope valued at $70 and a 6-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope from the Prairie Astronomy Club valued at $250. Entry forms for this local giveaway will be available at the front desk of the museum. The drawing will take place at 4 p.m. and you need not be present to win. Visitors who do not win one of the two telescopes awarded locally will have the opportunity to register to win the grand prize Celestron 6-inch NexStar 6SE telescope (valued at $799) that will be given away nationally by Astronomy magazine in the weeks following Astronomy Day.

Astronomy Day will conclude in the evening with an open house "star party" during the regular open hours (8 to 11 p.m.) of Hyde Memorial Observatory, 3701 S. 70th St. in Holmes Park. There is no admission charge at Hyde Observatory.

Founded in 1973, Astronomy Day is a national celebration started by the Astronomical League to promote awareness of amateur and professional astronomy. Astronomy Day events will take place at hundreds of locations across the globe on this day. The NU State Museum and Mueller Planetarium are among a select group of more than 30 planetariums, museums and observatories across the United States to be sponsored by Astronomy magazine and Celestron International as outstanding examples of the spirit of amateur astronomy. The State Museum is the only site endorsed by these organizations in Nebraska.

For more information on Astronomy Day, contact Jack Dunn by email or visit the Astronomy Day webpage at

Established in 1871, the University of Nebraska State Museum is celebrating its 140th anniversary with special promotions and educational events throughout the year. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday; 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays; and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults (19 and over), $3 for children (5-18 years, 4 and under are free), and $10 for families (up to two adults and children). UNL staff, faculty and students are admitted free with valid NU ID. There is an additional charge for planetarium shows. Parking is free. For information on the State Museum visit or phone Dana Ludvik at (402) 472-3779.

WRITER: Dana Ludvik, Public Relations Coordinator, University of Nebraska State Museum, (402) 472-3779

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