AstroNite will be held on Saturday, October 20, starting at Longway Planetarium and then moving to the UM-Flint Murchie Science Building (MSB).
"With missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and Mars Curiosity, astronomy is clearly a fantastic vehicle for promoting science and critical thinking," said UM-Flint Assistant Professor of Physics Rajib Ganguly, Ph.D. "AstroNite is one effort, among many, to reach out to the community and say, 'Hey! Here's what science brings us. Here's what it can do. Here's why it's cool.'"
Longway Planetarium will be offering a free showing of The Halloween Show at 6:30 p.m. The show explores Halloween history and traditions, the constellations of autumn and winter, and what causes the phases of the Moon. After the show, head over to the UM-Flint campus for more astronomical fun. At MSB you can help make and dissect a comet, discover how rainbows help astronomers unravel the secrets of the universe, create and examine your own craters, and more. If the sky is clear, telescopes will be outside MSB to look at amazing objects in the sky. Check out planets, the Moon, and star clusters. Help will also be available if you want to bring your own telescope.
With all the interest around the Mayan calendar and the date of December 21, 2012, Ganguly said there will be information about the calendar to reassure everyone that there is no scientific evidence to support the end of the world claim.
Ganguly said, "I hope kids and their parents come with an open mind, and take away from the experience both our sense of awe, and our sense of 'Hey, we can make sense out of all this! That is awesome!'"
For more information, contact the Longway Planetarium at (810)237-3400 or University of Michigan-Flint at (810)762-3131