The University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy is holding its annual Open House this Sunday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s event is a special one, as it’s part of a global “100 Hours of Astronomy” celebration. This year, 2009, is the “International Year of Astronomy,” marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s use of a telescope to study the sky.
The Open House will include several activities for kids, ranging from rocket launches to planetarium shows, “Astro-Jeopardy,” and hands-on fun like sundial making and a “Mars Rescue Mission” that calls for kids to build and race rescue pods.
For the more thoughtful set, there will also be several short lectures on various topics, including the 2008 eclipse, solar storms, the origin of oxygen and the latest news about planets in distant star systems.
This is a great opportunity to meet and ask questions of dozens of UH astronomers, including some of those working on the killer-asteroid-hunting Pan-STARRS project. And in addition to the Institute for Astronomy, several other astronomical organizations will also be on hand: the Hawaiian Astronomical Society, the Bishop Museum Science Center, Ironwood Observatory and the Windward Community College Center for Aerospace Education.