The South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association & The Fox Astronomical Observatory invites you to come join us and celebrate INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMY DAY, April 29th, 2017. The observatory will open at 2pm for solar viewing and demonstrations, and we’ll keep at it until about midnight! Please note that if you come before dark, the park charges $1.50 to enter.
Astronomy Day is a grass roots movement designed to share the joy of astronomy with the general population – “Bringing Astronomy to the People.” On Astronomy Day, thousands of people who have never looked through a telescope will have an opportunity to see first-hand what has so many amateur and professional astronomers all excited. Astronomy clubs, science museums, observatories, universities, planetariums, laboratories, libraries, and nature centers host special events and activities to acquaint their population with local astronomical resources and facilities. Many of these events are located at non-astronomical sites; shopping malls, parks, urban centers—truly Bringing Astronomy to the People. It is an astronomical PR event that helps highlight ways the general public can get involved with astronomy – or at least get some of their questions about astronomy answered. Astronomy Week encompasses Astronomy Day starting on the previous Monday and ending on the following Sunday.
Astronomy Day was born in California in 1973. Doug Berger, then president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California, decided that rather than try to entice people to travel long distances to visit observatory open houses, they would set up telescopes closer to where the people were – busy locations – urban locations like street corners, shopping malls, parks, etc.
His strategy paid off. Not only did Astronomy Day go over with a bang, not only did the public find out about the astronomy club, they found out about future observatory open houses. Since the public got a chance to look through a portable telescope, they were hooked. They wanted to see what went on at the bigger telescopes, so they turned out in droves at the next observatory open house.