Physics and Astronomy

Astronomy Festival on the National Mall

Saturday, June 22, 2024, from 6-11 p.m.
7th to 9th Streets, SW
In front of the Hirshhorn Museum
Independence Avenue SW & 7th Street
Metro: L'Enfant Plaza

In association with the Smithsonian Solstice Saturday

Free Admission

  • Day/evening close-up views of the Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus, star clusters, colorful double stars with optical & radio telescopes
  • Hands-on activities
  • Meet an astronomer
  • Astronomical image exhibits
Educator Registration

Video of 2023 Astronomy Festival

YouTube channel: WUSA9

Hofstra University's Astronomy Festival on the National Mall (AFNM) in Washington, D.C., offers visitors a free guided tour of the sky on Saturday, June 22, from 6-11 p.m., and is organized by Dr. Donald Lubowich, Hofstra's Coordinator of Astronomy Outreach. AFNM features solar, optical, and radio telescope observations; hands-on activities, demonstrations, handouts, posters, banners, and videos; speakers from scientific and educational organizations, and a chance to mingle with astronomers. Dr. Lubowich and local amateur astronomers will set up dozens of telescopes on the National Mall. AFNM visitors will meet representatives from 40 of the nation's foremost scientific institutions, organizations, and universities, who will present exciting demonstrations and answer questions about the latest astronomical discoveries and careers in science. Starting at 6 p.m., 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 colorful double stars, nebulae, and star clusters that sparkle like diamonds on black velvet.

2023 Participating Organizations: American Astronomical Society, Associated Universities Inc., Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Ball Aerospace & Technology, Carnegie Science, Carnegie Academy for Science Education, Chandra X-ray Observatory, DayStar Filters LLC, ePlanetarium, Focus Features' ASTEROID CITY, International Dark Sky Association, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Maryland STEM Festival, NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Solar System Ambassadors, National Air and Space Museum, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NSF's NOIRLab, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Science Foundation, Port Discovery Children's Museum, Project Caelus, Sky and Telescope Magazine, The Society of Physics Students, Space Telescope Science Institute (HST and JWST), Unistellar, U.S. Naval Observatory, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. 2023 Participating Colleges and Universities: Georgetown University, George Mason University, Montgomery College, Rice University, University of Maryland, and University of Virginia Astronomy Department.

2023 Participating Astronomy Clubs: Goddard Astronomy Club, National Capital Astronomers, Northern Virginia Astronomy Club. Isaac Newton will be portrayed by Dean Howarth.

2024 Sponsors:
Hofstra University would like to thank our generous sponsors for their support.

Supernova Sponsors

Ball logo
District of Columbia Space Grant Consortium
George Mason University