Montana State University

Astronomy Day scheduled for Bozeman's Museum of the Rockies on April 20

April 4, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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BOZEMAN - A free afternoon of astronomy-related events for kids and adults will be held in Bozeman on Saturday, April 20.

Beginning at 1 p.m., Astronomy Day at Museum of the Rockies will include talks by two former Montana State University students who now work on NASA projects: One as a lead engineer for the Mars Curiosity rover, and another who works on the Van Allen Probes mission at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
 
All of the Astronomy Day 2013 activities, including admission to the museum, are free that afternoon.
 
Exhibits in the main lobby will feature activities, information and giveaways from NASA missions and MSU researchers. Kids' activities include Mars Volcano Erupt, Life Cycle of a Star Bookmark and Edible Mars Rover. The planetarium show is Big Sky Tonight.
 
Angela Des Jardins, director of Montana Space Grant Consortium, will begin the afternoon presentations at 1 p.m.
 
At 1:10 p.m., Brian Larsen of Los Alamos National Laboratory presents "Exploring the Extremes of Space Weather, NASA's Van Allen Probes Mission." The mission helps scientists study the Van Allen radiation belts surrounding Earth, and Larsen will give an overview of space weather and how it impacts the world's space infrastructure.
 
At 3 p.m., MSU alumnus Jaime Waydo, who is now a Curiosity rover mobility engineer, will present "Curiosity's Science: What is the Mars Rover Doing, and What Have We Learned?"
 
An autograph session with both Larsen and Waydo takes place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
 
With events going until 4 p.m., Astronomy Day is sponsored by the Museum of the Rockies, Montana Space Grant Consortium, Monforton School Foundation, Space Public Outreach Team, Southwest Montana Astronomical Society, and Montana State University's Physics Department, Optical Technology Center, Extended University and Astrobiology and Life in Extreme Environments (ALEE) program.
 
 For more information visit http://eu.montana.edu/AstronomyDay/

Contact: Ryan Hannahoe, rhannahoe@monfortonschool.org.