NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Celebrates 100 Hours of Astronomy
Lynn Chandler
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


IYA logoGREENBELT, Md. – The public is invited to join in on the fun as NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center celebrates 100 Hours of Astronomy in conjunction with the International Year of Astronomy. This four-day event, designed to bring astronomy to the public around the world, runs from April 2-5, 2009.

As part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy, the Astrophysics Science Division at Goddard is coordinating a series of events in an effort to bring astronomy down to earth in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. These events include live webcasts, tours, educator showcases, rocket launches, and so much more! The schedule for the events to be held at the Goddard Visitor Center is listed below:

Thursday, April 2

Events all day for informal educators who work with students in an out-of-school-time setting, such as afterschool program providers, Girl Scout Troop leaders, 4- H Club leaders, etc.
  • 10 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. - Behind the Scenes Tour of Goddard for informal educators.
  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. - Live webcast from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia
  • 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. – Informal Educator Showcase. Learn how you can bring NASA into your community with programs and products designed for afterschool, summer camps, scout groups and more.
Friday, April 3
  • 10 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. – Behind the Scenes Tour of Goddard for career and guidance counselors.
  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Live webcast from astronomers using observatories around and above the globe.
  • 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Teachers Night for K -12 classroom teachers.
Saturday, April 4
  • 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. – Elementary and middle school students and their families participate in activities to help them explore and discover the universe.
  • 8 p.m. - 1 a.m. - Yuri's Night, an annual worldwide party to celebrate Yuri Gagarin's first flight into space.
Sunday, April 5
  • Noon – 1 p.m. – Concert by The Chromatics.
  • 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Rocket Launches with the NARHAMS Rocket Club.
  • 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. – Learn how to throw a star party and tune up your telescopes.
Some of the activities listed above require registration. Visit the 100 Hours of Astronomy website for detailed information and registration:

The following off-site activities are also part of Goddard’s efforts.

Related events outside of Goddard include:

On Saturday, April 4 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. join a 4.5 mile Planet Walk along the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail. You will learn about the planets and results from some of the latest NASA planetary missions. Planet experts will be at each of the Planets along the trail. For more information on the Planet Walk, visit: > Planetwalk

On Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. Observe the stars and planets at a star party hosted by the Astronomy Department at Anne Arundel Community College. In addition to star gazing, there will also be talks by planetary scientists. For more information, visit: > Friends of AA Trails

Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5 - Go to an Evening Star Party - Star parties will be held in partnership with the Astronomical Society of Greenbelt (ASG) and its sister organization, the Goddard Astronomy Club. These events will be held at the Greenbelt Public Observatory. For more information, visit: > Starparties

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The aim of IYA is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme "The Universe, Yours to Discover."

For directions to the NASA Goddard Visitor's Center, visit:

> Directions to Goddard