Look to the Sky

the stars are waiting at UWEC’s annual Astronomy Day

Allison Puestow

BELOW: One giant step for a soda bottle.
One giant step for a soda bottle.

Space…the final frontier. These are the voyages of the L.E. Phillips Planetarium and the Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society. Their mission: to teach people about outer space, to seek out new demonstrations to show the public, to boldly go to a college campus on a Saturday. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Astronomy Day is back, so you should head on over to the L.E. Phillips Planetarium on Saturday, May 3, to learn all about space, astronomy, and much more. There will be a presentation on the MAVEN mission (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution), which will be exploring Mars’ upper atmosphere and its interactions with the sun, as well as a hands-on presentation on magnetism that relates to what the spacecraft measures. You can also check out a hands-on radioactive display, complete with Geiger counters (superpowers not included) and feast your eyes, and hands, on some actual meteorites. In addition, there will be some short planetarium shows throughout the day. Did I mention there’s a rocket launch? At least of the 2-liter variety. You can make and decorate your own rocket bottle and, weather permitting, launch it sky high. (No interstellar battles, please.) And if you want to see some actual stars, don’t go to Hollywood; instead go over to the Hobbs Observatory later that night. May 3 marks the opening season for the observatory, which is at Beaver Creek Reserve in rural Fall Creek. Every Saturday night May-October (weather permitting) the observatory is open for public viewing starting after sunset. So set a course for Astronomy Day before the opportunity warps away.

Astronomy Day for the Chippewa Valley • Saturday, May 3, 10am-3pm • near the north entrance of Phillips Science Hall, UW-Eau Claire campus • FREE • (715) 836-3148 • uwec.edu/planetarium/astroday.htm

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