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Family Activities

  • Ask an astronomer
  • Buy an IfA T-shirt
  • Star Tracker
  • CO2 Mirror Cleaning Demo
  • Optics & Light
  • Ultraviolet Camera New
  • Infrared camera
  • TMT VR Experience
  • Daytime Venus observing
  • Pan-STARRS Image Maker
  • Impact Craters
  • Short lectures
  • Spectroscopy school (learning with light)
  • Solar observing (weather permitting)

Displays & Demonstrations

  • Astrophotography
  • Friends of the IfA
  • IfA History
  • 3D Printing
  • Liquid Nitrogen New
  • Ruben’s Tube
  • ATLAS telescope demo
  • Scale model of solar system
  • Student-built telescope Pioneer 01-A
  • Pan-STARRS and ATLAS sky surveys


11:30–12:00 Karen Meech: A Visitor from Another Star System
On 2017 October 14 an object now known as ʻOumuamua passed close to the earth. ‘Oumuamua came from another solar system. Come learn what we know about ʻOumuamua, and why it has created so much excitement!

12:15–12:45 Jonathan Williams: Astronomy and the Meaning of Life
Why are we here? What is our purpose? I’ll address these age-old questions from an astronomical perspective that shows both how insignificant the Solar System appears to be and also how perfectly balanced the Universe is.

1:00–1:30 Lauren Weiss: Patterns in Planetary Systems
Our solar system is a cosmic laboratory through which we began our journey into the universe. Now, we have discovered thousands of extra-solar systems. Come learn about the most prevalent patterns in our own planets and in thousands of worlds worlds beyond the solar system.

1:45–2:15 Thomas DeBoer: How to Make a Milky Way
In this talk we will try to decipher our local environment to learn about our home galaxy, the Milky Way, how it came to be, and what its future holds.

2:30–3:00 Robert Jedicke: Mining Asteroids
Most space explorers agree that water will be the first commercial resource harvested in space. The two natural locations are from the base of craters at the moon’s poles and from asteroids. This water could literally be the fuel that launches human settlement in the solar system.

3:15–3:45 Shadia Habbal: Scientific and Artistic Beauty of Total Solar Eclipses
A presentation of the unique science that can be acquired from total solar eclipse observations, and their unique beauty as astronomical events.

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