Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is reaching for the stars once again with its annual “Astronomy Day: Stargazing into the Future” event which invites visitors to look up and appreciate the wonders of the universe – and how humans observe it. This year’s event is unique in that it has been extended into a three-day celebration of the Museum’s past, present and future, from the beginnings of its Planetarium in the 1960s to the state-of-the-art Planetarium and new Museum, which will open in downtown Miami in 2016. The event will also pay homage and celebrate WPBT2’s “Star Gazers,” the world’s only weekly television series on naked eye astronomy that began its storied history at the Museum.
“Astronomy Day: Stargazing into the Future” will involve several exciting events: Science Up Close
Thursday, Oct. 9, 6–9:30 p.m. (Free with RSVP via http:/bit.lyScienceUpClose; must be 21 and over to attend)
Science Up Close is the Museum’s new series of casual science conversation events.
Following a showcase of the fly-through video of the new Museum by Chief Science Officer Dr. Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham, renowned scientist Pete Markowitz, professor in the Department of Physics at Florida International University, will join visitors in a conversation about particle physics and other astronomy topics, along with special guest Xavier Cortada, artist-in-residence at Florida International University’s College of Architecture and The Arts and creator of the CERN banners.
Following, guests will enjoy complimentary beers by Wynwood Brewing Company as local scientists join visitors in casual conversation in groups, with each table being moderated by visiting scientists and Museum scientists, including Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego and Lindsay Bartholomew. Moderators will have provocative questions prepared in advance to guide table conversation and will lead a voting activity, asking visitor opinions on the topics, comparing their answers before and after the event.
The evening will begin and end with a space-themed jazz performance by the Frost School of Music.
Friday, Oct. 10, 6:30–10:30 p.m. (Free with RSVP via http:/bit.lyAstroJam; must be 21 and over to attend)
Planetarium AstroJam! is a special evening of live music, animation, improvisational dome projections and wonder.
Guests will be treated to a video fly-through of the new Museum facility inside the theater to kick off the evening.
In partnership with the Borscht Film Festival, the event will continue with the Miami premiere of filmmaker Bernardo Britto’s animated short film, “Yearbook,” a 2014 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Animation. This six-minute film follows the story of a man hired to compile the definitive history of human existence before the impending demise of the planet.
Following the film, Caroline Simpson, Ph.D., associate professor at Florida International University, will give a brief talk on exoplanets research, followed by an informal Q&A.
Guests will then have the chance to observe the night sky on the rooftop observatory before heading into the Planetarium to enjoy live music provided by local musicians Rob Goyanes and Brad Lovett, who specialize in combining punk, electronica, and rhythm into unique and fresh soundscapes. The music will be accompanied by live improvisational dome projections provided by Miami artists Sri Prabha and Nayib Estefan, who synthesize science and engineering and the senses into art.
Prior to the film and music experience, over 200 guests will enjoy libations and bites in the Space Gallery. Cocktails will continue following the presentation, allowing visitors to mingle with the artists.
Astronomy Day: Stargazing into the Future
Saturday, Oct. 11, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. (Children 12 and under are free with paid adult admission)
This Saturday program, sponsored by WPBT2, will allow all Museum visitors, younger and older, to appreciate astronomy and the past and future of the Museum.
James C. Albury, co-host of WPBT2’s “Star Gazers” and coordinator of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fla. (and who began his career as a teenager at the Museum), will present a “Best of” compilation of “Star Gazers” episodes inside the Museum’s Theatre throughout the day.
Those visitors who remember Jack Horkheimer, former director of the Museum’s Planetarium and creator of WPBT2’s “Star Gazers,” will be especially interested in attending showings in the Planetarium of Horkheimer’s original “Helios” program, during which they will see the Museum and Planetarium as they were in the beginning.
The whole Museum will stay open late for family programming, including evening sky viewing, laser shows and stargazing at the Museum’s rooftop Weintraub Observatory.
The day’s activities also include:
Enjoy a space-themed performance from a Frost School of Music musical ensemble. Record your #FrostScienceMemories for the Museum’s time capsule.
Travel back in time in the Planetarium, listening to the classic “Helios” show recording narrated by the Museum's Jack Horkheimer.
Meet James C. Albury, star of WPBT2’s “Star Gazers” show, and learn about what you can see in the night sky.
Remotely operate real NASA telescopes and take your own images of the universe. Look through solar telescopes with Southern Cross Astronomical Society to see what the sun really looks like.
Help build a "spaceship" out of recyclable materials, and plan where you're going, and how you'll get there with the help of local artist Kerry Phillips, along with Museum scientists.
Become an avatar and explore a virtual world, and travel to extrasolar planets throughout our galaxy at the Museum’s Best Buy Teen Tech Center.
Launch your own rockets outside on the Museum lawn.
Cook a comet and investigate alien goo.
Investigate patterns of glowing light to see what starlight is made of.
The Miami big screen premiere of “SPACE RACERS™.” SPACE RACERS is the new animated preschool television program that follows young spaceship cadets as they soar through the solar system, learning about the power of scientific investigation and observation, the wonders of space exploration, and the importance of working together as a team. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how each animated character was brought to life, hear how NASA scientists and astronauts assisted in the development of the series, plus enjoy episodes of “SPACE RACERS” in both English and Spanish.
Delicious fare available from Cheeseburger Baby food truck.
“Astronomy has always been an important part of our Museum, from admiring the planets in the Observatory, to exploring the secrets and wonders of the universe in our much-loved Planetarium and through our programming,” said Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science President & CEO Gillian Thomas. “At the start of this final year at our current site, we are expanding the range of events and activities to celebrate Astronomy Day, cherishing our history while also providing new opportunities as we move towards our new home in Museum Park.”