Celebrate the stars

Astronomy magazine and Meade Instruments team up with 29 locations throughout the country for the biggest astronomy bash of the year: National Astronomy Day, May 6.
By | Published: May 1, 2006 | Last updated on May 18, 2023

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Return to Astronomy “For the media” page In the sky:

  • Throughout May – The magnificent ringed planet Saturn shines brightly halfway up in the western sky.
  • May 3 – Saturn lies left of the waxing crescent Moon
  • May 12 – Comet 73P/Schwasmann-Wachmann 3 is expected to pass within 7 million miles of Earth. Away from city lights, use binoculars to spot the comet low in the northeast.
  • WAUKESHA, WI – National Astronomy Day takes place May 6, and Astronomy magazine and Meade Instruments again join forces with the country’s most prestigious science museums to celebrate the wonders of the cosmos. As families prepare for their summer camping trips, National Astronomy Day provides the perfect opportunity to learn about how to observe shooting stars, planets, and comets in the coming months.

    Now more than ever, it seems, kids need to have fun with science – our country’s future depends on it. The numbers don’t lie:
  • United States’ 12th graders performed below the average for
    21 countries
    on a recent test of general knowledge in math and science.
  • The United States now ranks 14th in the world – after ranking third 30 years ago – in the ratio of natural science and engineering degrees among the 24-year-old population.
  • Science- and engineering-related occupations will grow by 47 percent between 2000 and 2010.

  • Unfortunately, the growing demand for a competent science and engineering workforce coincides with a dwindling supply of people pursuing science and engineering degrees. President George W. Bush recently announced the American Competitiveness Initiative to bolster the United States’ diminishing performance in math and science.

    National Astronomy Day strives to fight this downward trend and increase awareness – and enthusiasm – for science. National Astronomy Day encourages people to cut loose their cosmic curiosity.
    For more information, contact:
    Matt Quandt
    Assistant editor
    [t] 262.796.8776 x419
    [e] mquandt@astronomy.com

    May 1, 2006

    Experts at 29 locations will inspire and engage kids and adults alike with hands-on activities, demonstrations, presentations, telescope observing, and more. These activities will showcase the visually stunning and mind-boggling events of deep space.

    Visitors to the events will receive free material from Astronomy magazine – perfect resources for family camping trips, homework assignments, and scout troop projects – and also can enter to win a Meade telescope.

    A special episode of PBS’ Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer was recorded for National Astronomy Day and is available to view at www.astronomy.com/astronomyday.

    Astronomy magazine and Meade Instruments are committed to developing and sponsoring efforts like National Astronomy Day to help stimulate public interest in science, exploration, discovery, and imagination.

    To obtain contact information for the coordinators of the local events, please contact Matt Quandt at Astronomy:
    [t] 262.796.8776
    [e] mquandt@astronomy.com

    National Astronomy Day history
    In 1973, an amateur astronomer from California, Douglas Berger, started Astronomy Day. The Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland – one of this program’s partners – hosted the first Astronomy Day. Berger wanted to introduce the public to the hobby and science of astronomy. Thirty-three years later, hundreds of local astronomy clubs and science organizations celebrate National Astronomy Day by introducing kids and adults alike to the infinite wonders of our universe.

    Helpful links:
  • Astronomical League: The Astronomical League provides information for hundreds of local astronomy club events throughout the country.
  • Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer: Jack Horkheimer hosts this weekly series featuring objects for naked-eye viewing and airs on most local PBS television stations.