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April 18: Family Astronomy and Telescope Night

crescent moon

Wed., April 18, 8:30pm
Family Stargazing: 
Astronomy and Telescope Night

Did you know that Venus has reappeared in the evening sky?  Come see it, and other astronomical sights, at MSU St. Andrews in Midland!

>>Telescopes will be available, but you can bring your own binoculars, as well. (Many wonderful celestial sights are actually best when viewed through binoculars.)


  • We will begin with a short presentation about astronomy, describing the different telescopes we have;
  • When it is dark, we will go outdoors for an observing session.

Venus is close enough to Earth that a good telescope will show it as a disc, with phases like the moon. Venus will be in a gibbous phase on this Astronomy and Telescope Night, which means it will be between half and full. If you join us for subsequent Astronomy and Telescope Nights, you will be able to watch Venus grow progressively larger as it continues to approach Earth. It will also move through half-lit phase (in August) and take on a crescent phase after that.

If you’ve never seen the Moon through a telescope, this will be a special treat. The crescent Moon photo shown here was taken using a cell phone through our smallest scope. On this Astronomy and Telescope Night, the Moon will be in a crescent phase. Many craters will be visible, as well as the eastern lunar “seas.”

Other options to see on Astronomy and Telescope Night will be the Pleiades (a star cluster), Albireo (a double star), and the great Orion Nebula (a gas cloud containing a quadruple star). Also, many bright stars and bright constellations will be visible on Astronomy and Telescope Night. We can help you learn to identify the brighter stars by name, as well as the brighter constellations. It all depends on what interests our attendees the most!

Visit Facebook.com/StAndrews for more information.

Date: Wed., April 18, 8:30pm

Location: 1910 W. St. Andrews Road, Midland, Mich. (MAP)
(We are located at the next driveway west of the Grace A. Dow Library.)

Cost: Free!
(This program is made possible in part by support from the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.)

Audience: Recommended for elementary-age children and above, and their families, but all are welcome.

In case of clouds or bad weather, we will postpone to the following night, Thurs., April 19, also at 8:30pm.

Please share this announcement with your students, neighbors, and their families!

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Michigan State University programs, activities and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, political persuasion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, height, weight, veteran status, age or familial status. Please inform us if you need any accommodation for accessibility at (517) 432-4499.

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