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NASA and Owens Science Center Celebrate National Astronomy Day
Members of the media and the general public are invited to celebrate National Astronomy Day this coming Saturday, May 6, 2006 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the Howard B. Owens Science Center, both in Greenbelt, Md.

The event, hosted by the Goddard Astronomy Club and the Astronomical Society of Greenbelt, is designed to help everyone experience the pleasures of amateur astronomy, from learning the constellations and finding the planets, to buying and using a telescope.

Events will begin at 3:00 p.m. at Owens Science Center with planetarium shows, a talk on solar science, an exhibit of the sun as art and actual viewing of the sun using telescopes equipped with safe solar filters. Activities at Owens will finish at 6:30 p.m. when the event moves to the NASA Goddard visitor center.

The program at the GSFC visitor center include an astrophotography exhibit along with telescope viewing of the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and other celestial sights. Amateur astronomers will be on hand with information and displays on buying and using a telescope and children will receive a free kit with telescope and ‘star finder’ making activities.

The main event of the evening will be a talk by John Dobson, the charismatic creator of the affordable "Dobsonian" telescope - a simple-to-use design that has become an international best seller. He is also cofounder of the organization known as the Sidewalk Astronomers, a group dedicated to sharing the wonders of the night sky with the public, and which now has chapters located all over the world. Mr. Dobson has appeared throughout the years on "The Tonight Show," PBS, and dozens of other radio and television programs- and is the subject of a recently released movie. He will talk about telescopes, the universe, and the enjoyment of knowing and viewing the night sky. Dobson's presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. and evening activities will follow until 11:00 p.m.

Also on display at the Goddard Visitor Center are the 'Hubble Space Telescope New Views of the Universe' exhibit and the new 'Science on a Sphere' animated global projection system. NASA scientists will be on hand to answer questions related to these exhibits and about the earth and space sciences in general.

Regular Goddard visitor center hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9 am - 5 pm; and Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm. - 4 pm. It is open all holidays except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. For more information, call (301) 286-9041 or visit + Visitor Center

+ Click here to register

Michelle Jones
Goddard Space Flight Center