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 and Sculpture Garden
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, Venus, star clusters, and colorful double stars with solar and optical telescopes
  • Hands-on activities
  • Meet an astronomer
  • Astronomical image exhibits
  • Rain Location: Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building

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.

Participating Organizations: Associated Universities, Inc., Astronomical Society of the Pacific, BAE Systems, Inc., Carnegie Science, Chandra X-ray Observatory, DarkSky International, ePlanetarium, Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, Maryland Science Center, Maryland STEM Festival, NASA Astrophysics Division, NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center (Hubble Space Telescope), 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, The Society Physics Students, The Trust for National Mall, Unistellar, U.S. Naval Observatory, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

Participating Colleges and Universities: Georgetown University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Montgomery College, Rice University, University of Maryland, University of Virginia.

Participating Astronomy Clubs: Amateur Astronomers Association, Amateur Observers’ Society of NY, Goddard Astronomy Club, National Capital Astronomers, Northern Virginia Astronomy Club

2024 Sponsors:
Supernova level: BAE Systems, DC Space Grant Consortium, ePlanetarium, George Mason University; Nova level: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Supernova Sponsors

Bae Systems logo
District of Columbia Space Grant Consortium
George Mason University

Nova Sponsors

National Radio Astronomy Observatory logo

National Radio Astronomy Observatory