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Astronomy Festival Returns to National Mall on 23 June

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 19:05

AFNM 2016AAS members and their families and friends are invited to attend, participate in, and volunteer for the FREE 9th annual Astronomy Festival on the National Mall (AFNM) on Saturday, 23 June 2018, from 6 to 11 pm. The location is northwest of the Washington monument at 17th Street NW and Constitution Avenue (rain location: School Without Walls, 2130 G Street NW). Celebrate the summer solstice with telescopic observations of the Sun, Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn at the largest annual astronomy outreach event in the US (we had 8,000 visitors last year and have had more than 30,000 since the first such event in 2010).

In addition to telescopic viewing, AFNM will feature hands-on activities, demonstrations, videos, a planetarium show in an inflatable dome, speakers from scientific and educational organizations, and a chance for astronomers and the public to mingle. The free event is organized by the undersigned, Coordinator of Astronomy Outreach at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.

Bringing astronomy to the National Mall and gives us a very special opportunity to encourage children to pursue their interest in science or math and to promote public understanding of science. Gazing at the rings of Saturn or craters on the Moon captures the imagination, no matter how old you are.

Representatives from some of the nation’s foremost scientific institutions, organizations, and universities will present exciting demonstrations and answer questions about the latest astronomical discoveries or careers in science.

2018 AFNM Participating Organizations:

  • Science Organizations: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Physics Teachers, American Physical Society, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Carnegie Institution of Science, Celestial Charts, International Dark Sky Association, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, National Air and Space Museum, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Science Foundation, Naval Research Laboratory, Science for Society & the Public, Society of Physics Students, Space Telescope Science Institute, US Naval Observatory.
  • Colleges and Universities: American University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Montgomery College, Rice University.
  • Astronomy Clubs and Organizations Bringing Telescopes: Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, Amateur Observers’ Society of New York, Astronomical Association of Greenbelt, Goddard Astronomy Club, National Capital Astronomers, Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, Rappahannock Astronomy Club, Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers.

The Smithsonian museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, will be open until midnight on 23 June for "Solstice Saturday."

All-day public parking for $15.00 is available at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center Building, entrance on 14th Street NW, a quarter block north of Constitution Avenue. AFNM is sponsored by Hofstra University; for more information and last-minute updates, see Please email Donald Lubowich if you would like to participate or volunteer.

Donald A. Lubowich
Coordinator of Astronomy Outreach and Research Astronomer
Hofstra Univ.
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