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Four days of cosmic fun begin April 2 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Astrophysics Science Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is coordinating a series of events to bring the cosmos down to Earth in the DC metropolitan area.

The festivities take place April 2-5 as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy. This worldwide celebration is associated with the 2009 International Year of Astronomy, which marks the 400th anniversary of Galileo's use of the telescope.

Events taking place at Goddard include:

* Behind-the-scenes tours of the center for educators and guidance counselors;
* A night for educators to meet and mingle with NASA experts;
* A concert by The Chromatics, a model rocket launch, webcasts and hands-on activities.

Other local events include a 4.5-mile Planet Walk along the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail (April 4). Walk the solar system and learn about recent space missions to the planets from NASA experts.

Observe the stars and planets as Galileo did by attending one of three planned star parties over the weekend. The Astronomical Society of Greenbelt will host a star party each evening on April 4 and 5. The Astronomy Department at Anne Arundel Community College will host one star party on Saturday, April 4 along with lectures by local astronomers.

The universe is yours to discover throughout the DC metro area April 2-5!

For more information, please visit

Sent 19 March 2009

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