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Astronomy Festival on the National Mall Brings the Universe Down to Earth

Saturday, June 23, 2018; 6 – 11 pm; Northwest of the Washington Monument; 17th Street NW and Constitution Ave.
Rain location: School Without Walls High School 2130 G St NW, on the George Washington University campus (tentative)

See the Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn at the Largest Astronomy Event on the National Mall

Educator Registration

In Washington, DC, on Saturday June 23th from 6 to 11 pm, visitors will be a given a free guided tour of the sky at the 9th Annual Astronomy Festival on the National Mall. This free public stargazing is organized by Dr. Donald Lubowich, Coordinator of Astronomy Outreach at Hofstra University.  The Astronomy Festival on the National Mall (AFNM) will feature solar, optical, and radio telescope observations of the Sun, Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn; hands-on activities, demonstrations, hand-outs, posters, banners, and videos; a planetarium show with a portable blow-up dome, speakers from scientific and educational organization, and a chance to mingle with astronomers.

Dr. Lubowich and local amateur astronomers will set up twenty telescopes on the Mall. Starting at 6 pm, visitors will be able to view sunspots with the help of specially filtered telescopes. After dusk and until 11 p.m. telescopes will provide close-up views of the Moon, Saturn with its beautiful rings, Jupiter and its moons, colorful double stars, and star clusters that sparkle like diamonds on black velvet.

“Bringing astronomy to the National Mall and partnering with astronomical organizations gives us a very special opportunity to encourage children to pursue their interest in science or math and to promote public understanding of science,” said Dr. Lubowich. “Gazing at the rings of Saturn or the Moon’s craters captures the imagination, no matter how old you are.” AFNM started as part of a NASA-funded Music and Astronomy Under the Stars program, which brought an astronomy festival to outdoor concerts throughout the US, and was co-sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Representatives from some of the nation’s foremost scientific institutions, organizations, and universities will present exciting demonstrations and answer questions about the latest astronomical discoveries or careers in science.

Participants in the 2018 AFNM

Organizations: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Physics Teachers, American Physical Society, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Carnegie Science/Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE), Celestial Charts, Chandra X-ray Center/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, International Dark Sky Association, National Air and Space Museum, NASA-GSFC, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Science Foundation, Naval Research Laboratory, Science for Society & the Public, Society of Physics Students, Space Telescope Science Institute/Hubble Space Telescope, and the US Naval Observatory.

Colleges and Universities:  American University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, Montgomery College, Rice University/E-planetarium.

Astronomy clubs and organizations who will bring  telescopes:Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh,  Amateur Observers’ Society  of NY,  Astronomical Association of Greenbelt, Goddard Astronomy Club, National Capital Astronomers, Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, Rappahannock Astronomy Club, Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers, Astronomical Association of Greenbelt, Goddard Astronomy Club, National Capital Astronomers, Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, Rappahannock Astronomy Club, Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers.

Public parking is available at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center Building, entrance on 14th Street NW just 1/4 block North of Constitution Avenue, for $15.00 from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. Updates at www.hofstra.edu/dcstars

Organized by Dr. Donald Lubowich, Hofstra University

Lubowich