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Celebrate The Cosmos At A Local 100 Hours Of Astronomy Event

Do you have a stargazer in your family? Someone facinated with the night sky?

If you answered yes, be sure to check out the 2019 100 Hours of Astronomy. The event is a 100-hour, round-the-clock, round-the-globe celebration composed of a broad range of activities designed to allow everyday stargazers to feed their facination with the stars. The event will take place over four days and nights, from January 10th to 13th. During this period, people from around the globe will share the experience of observing the sky. For some it may be their first time glimpsing the wonders of the universe through a telescope. For others, it is the perfect opportunity to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the cosmos, helping unveil the solar system to fresh and eager eyes.

Locally several events are being planned, including telescope observing sessions, exhibitions, special shows and more. 

Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Howard County is offering several events January 10th to 12th.  The events are open to adults and children ages 10 and up. The events are free, but a $5 donation is suggested. Advance registration required and can be done by emailing BannekerMuseum@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov or calling 410-887-1081.

Did you know that the Chesapeake Bay was formed by a meteor crater some millions of years ago? These tidbits and other interesting facts about meteors, meteorites, and asteroids will be the subject of Dr. Sethanne Howard’s talk Meteors and Asteroids on January 10 at 1 p.m. Dr. Howard is a former Chief of the Nautical Almanac Office at the U.S. Naval Observatory.

On January 11 at 1 p.m., Dr. Howard will explain how to use astronomy to find out where you are during Banneker’s Astronomy in Surveying Washington D.C. She will illustrate measuring latitude and longitude with the stars and planets.

January 12 at 1 p.m you can get ready for the Great American total lunar eclipse of 2019 and learn about Banneker’s methods for making lunar eclipse predictions for his almanacs. Know what to look for as the Earth’s shadow moves across the Moon to make a blood-red spectacle on the night of January 20th and 21st. Local NASA navigation specialist and amateur astronomer Steve Bilanow will present Know Your Lunar Eclipses where he will discuss the appreciation and predictions of lunar eclipses through the ages.

For a more “adult” evening (though kids are welcome) to celebrate the stars, Museum After Hours – What Happened to the Milky Way? is being offered by the Gaithersburg Community Museum and Latitude Observatory on January 11. Years ago it wasn’t that unusual to see the Milky Way, but today light pollution as made it rare enough to be newsworthy. Dr. Harold Williams, Director of the Montgomery College Planetarium, will discuss the Dark Skies Movement and what it means for our night skies. Tasting with Supreme Core Cider, a new cidery in Washington, D.C. will be offered at 7 p.m. followed by the talk at 7:30 p.m. (Must be 21 years to be served alcohol). Program will be held in the museum’s vintage 1953 RDC rail car. $10. Purchase tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-happened-to-the-milky-way-tickets-5178012775 

If you want to get up close and personal with the stars, the Maryland Science Center ObservatoryObservatory is open to the public every Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., weather permitting. Friday admission to the Observatory is free, but please note it does not include access to the Museum. Phone 410-545-2999 after 5 p.m. on Fridays to find out if the Observatory will be open that night.

Click here for a full list of local planetariums. 

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