Museum celebrates Astronomy Day with astronaut Anderson April 28

Released on 04/16/2012, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, Apr. 28, 2012

WHERE: University of Nebraska State Museum, Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine Streets, UNL City Campus

Lincoln, Neb., April 16th, 2012 —

            Astronomy Day will be celebrated April 28 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. The event will feature appearances by Nebraska's own astronaut, Clayton C. Anderson, along with prizes and a variety of hands-on activities about space, science and astronomy. Regular museum admission will be charged.

            At 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Anderson will give 30-minute presentations in Morrill Hall's auditorium featuring images from his flights aboard the Space Shuttle. There will be an opportunity for visitors to get autographs and photos with Anderson following the talks. Seating is limited. For more information about Anderson, visit

            Visitors will also interact with presenters at different stations and learn about planets, optics, telescopes, physics, space travel, nanotechnology and more. Mueller Planetarium will present the fulldome show, "Dawn of the Space Age," which will include tributes to Anderson and the last Shuttle misson. It will be presented at 11 a.m., noon, and 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

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

            All attendees will have a chance to win a pair of Celestron 15x70 Skymaster binoculars or a Celestron AstroMaster LT 60AZ telescope valued at $110. Entry forms for this local giveaway will be available at the museum's front desk. The drawing will take place at 4 p.m. Visitors need not be present to win the telescope. They do need to be present to win the binoculars, which are donated by the Prairie Astronomy Club. Visitors who do not win the telescope awarded locally will have the opportunity to register to win the grand prize Celestron SkyProdigy 130 telescope (valued at $699) 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.

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

            Established in 1871, the University of Nebraska State Museum is the state's premier museum of natural history. 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. Friends members are free with membership card. There is an additional charge for planetarium shows. Planetarium tickets are sold at the museum's front desk the day of the show. Parking is free in front of the museum. For more information, contact Dana Ludvik at 402-472-3779 or by email, or visit For more information on Mueller Planetarium, visit

Writer: Dana Ludvik, Public Relations Coordinator, NU State Museum, 402-472-3779

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