All Department of Cultural Affairs museums and historic sites, including this facility, are temporarily closed as a public health precaution due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus). These closures are part of the larger effort by state government to minimize public exposure. Please continue to visit this website for updates and to explore online resources and collections.
At the Museum
|Museum Admission Only||Combo Ticket (Museum + Planetarium)|
Mars Perseverance Rover Launch
The next rover to Mars, now named Perseverance, is scheduled to launch on July 30. The mission includes the first helicopter to fly over another planet, called Ingenuity, with research for the concept coming from the museum's planetary geologist, Larry Crumpler.
NASA is offering several ways in which everyone can watch the beginning of Perseverance's journey and stay informed about its progress. If you register for the free mission updates, NASA will send emails with information about how to join virtual behind-the-scenes tours, during which you can post questions for the presenters! All the opportunities are linked in this release:
Goodbye Comet NEOWISE
Comet NEOWISE is moving higher and getting dimmer in the evening sky. It is closest to the Earth on July 23, but as it has gotten farther from the sun, it has also dimmed significantly. At a viewing location away from city lights, it is still barely visible to the unaided eye, but some magnification is now required to appreciate the comet's beauty and structure.
This article includes a sky cart to help find the comet in relation to Ursa Major, which includes the figure of the Big Dipper (located just off the top of the map). At the bottom there is also a link to a live program that the Lowell Observatory is offering on the night of the 23rd: https://lowell.edu/viewing-comet-neowise-in-the-early-evening
The picture was taken by Misty Carty, who is an educator at the museum with a graduate degree in astronomy. Her photo was taken from Albuquerque, and the timed-exposure, processed photo makes the comet appear brighter than it will in the real sky.
Sustainable Solutions for a Better Tomorrow Video Contest Winners
From February through May, The NM Museum of Natural History Foundation invited students in 4th - 8th grades to participate in the Sustainable Solutions for a Better Tomorrow video contest. The contest encouraged students to use science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) to develop creative ideas for renewable resources, water conservation, energy efficiency, or any other topic relevant to the Sustainable Solutions theme.
Contest winners have been announced, and winning videos can be viewed at: https://www.naturalhistoryfoundation.org/2020-solutions-winners.
Find a Bright Comet
Comets bright enough to be seen without optical aid are rare, but there’s one visible in the New Mexico sky right now! Set your alarm for about 4:30 a.m. and then find a nearby location with an unobstructed view toward the east. Read more
More New Online Fractals
Thousands of fractal fans continue to enjoy the online programs presented in May and June. A new fractal performance is scheduled to premiere on the museum's Facebook page on July 10. It will include fractal animations seen during the First Friday Fractal shows that have been presented for over 12 years in the planetarium, but these will be different from the ones in the June show. Don't forget to set a reminder and check out other recent posts: