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Space Science Events

Starry Nights

2017 Dates and Times:

Dates Observing Event
January 9 7 - 8 p.m. Final Lunar Monday
February 3 7 - 9 p.m. First Friday: Dinosaurs
March 25 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Earth Hour
April 5 8 - 9 p.m. Sandia Mt. Stargazing
May 5 8:30 - 10 p.m. First Friday: Geology
June 30 TBA Asteroid Day
July TBA TBA  
August 4 8:30 - 10 p.m. First Friday: Total Solar Eclipse
September 27 8 - 9 p.m. Sandia Mt. Stargazing
October 28 TBA Intl. Observe the Moon Night
November 3 7 - 9 p.m. First Friday: Wild Music
December 1 7 - 9 p.m. Old Town Holiday Stroll

In 2017, we're offering monthly night-sky observing opportunities to coincide with museum, local, or international events.  More specific information about each activity will be updated below as the day draws closer.  Notice that some events may happen at locations other than the museum.
Members of The Albuquerque Astronomical Society will help you study the moon and stars through a variety of telescopes. Each event will feature any visible planets and other interesting objects in the sky.
International SUNday will also be celebrated on June 18 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The observing part of any event may be canceled when the sky is cloudy.  If weather conditions are in question, check the museum's Facebook page for updates an hour before each event is scheduled to begin:​

Upcoming Events

June 30, 2017 - 5:30pm

Get ready to experience Asteroid Day for the first time at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science.  From 5:30 – 10 p.m. on Friday, June 30, learn about asteroids, NASA’s mission to the asteroid belt, and what there is to know about asteroid impacts on Earth.

In the ViewSpace Theater, the museum will be streaming a special live broadcast of other Astronomy Day celebrations around the world.  Hear from astronomy experts about the nature of asteroids and how they influenced Earth’s history.  The video will continue throughout the day on June 30 during both the museum’s normal hours and also into the evening activities, but only while the broadcast is available.  Find out more at:

The evening will feature hands-on activities for the family starting at 5:30 p.m.  At 6:30 p.m. Dr. Thomas Prettyman, a Principal Investigator with NASA’s Dawn Mission, will present a talk about what the spacecraft has discovered on the dwarf planet Ceres, the major asteroid Vesta, and other objects in the asteroid belt.  After the talk, Dr. Prettyman will guide a preview of items from an upcoming exhibition at the museum about the Dawn mission.  The museum’s observatory will be open from 8:30 – 10 p.m., weather permitting.  Everything is included in one admission charge: $7 adults; $6 members; $4 students.  Tickets may be purchased in advance on or at the museum on June 30.

Asteroid Day happens on the June 30 every year and is a campaign to educate people worldwide about asteroids, the impact hazard they may pose, and what we can do to protect our planet, families, communities, and future generations.  Events held in various cities on Asteroid Day range from professional lectures and personalized programs for the public to live entertainment, all to help raise public awareness and support for ways to increase detection and tracking of asteroids.  Find out more from the event’s international site:

Questions: or 505-841-2840

About Dr. Prettyman:
Dr. Tom Prettyman is one of several Planetary Science Institute scientists working in New Mexico and is proud to call Albuquerque home. Tom’s Ph.D. is in Nuclear Engineering, and his area of expertise is planetary remote sensing. He has experience working on NASA planetary missions, including Lunar Prospector and 2001 Mars Odyssey. He is a coinvestigator of the Dawn mission, for which he serves as the lead for the Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND), the only US payload instrument.

Purchase tickets in advance online to guarantee your seats at  Online ticket sales stop at noon the day of the lecture.  If seats are available the day of the lecture, they will be sold at the door as a first come-first served basis, at the NMMNH&S's admissions desk.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

August 4, 2017 - 5:30pm

On August 21, a solar eclipse will be visible across the entire U.S. with a few people able to see a totally eclipsed sun.  This First Friday will explain why eclipses happen and how to view this one safely.  More details about this event are coming soon.

November 3, 2017 - 5:30pm

Explore the Wild Music exhibit and hear sounds from around the world during this $5 First Friday.  More details about this event are coming soon.

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