If you’re looking for activities for all ages on Easter weekend, Santa Fe College is offering the 2012 Lunar Festival: “Easter Egg Moon.” Enjoy planetarium shows, telescope viewing, children’s crafts, educational presentations, and more, 3-10 p.m. Saturday, April 7 at Santa Fe’s Kika Silva Pla Planetarium, 3000 NW 83rd St. The festival will be held rain or shine, and is free and open to the public.
“This is an event to celebrate the moon which leads to Easter, but we’re also going to celebrate some other things such as the 40th anniversary of Apollo 16 and 17,” said SF Astronomy Professor Sally Hoffman.
Retired NASA engineer Bill Helms will speak about his experiences in the control room during both missions.
“We also have Bob O’Connell speak about events on the moon,” said Hoffman.
If you’ve noticed an unusual alignment of planets in the night sky recently, you can get a close-up view via telescopes set up by the Alachua Astronomy Club.
“We are going to look at the moon and at three glorious planets: Venus, Jupiter and Mars,” said Hoffman. “You can see the polar ice caps and the red of the desert on Mars. With Jupiter, we can see all the cloud bands and the turbulent atmosphere. We might even catch a glimpse of the Great Red Spot, the giant hurricane. We will see the four satellites of Jupiter that Galileo discovered. And for Venus, we’ll see a brilliant showy crescent. venus goes through phases just like the moon. It is now moving further and further into the crescent section of its phases.”
There will be craft stations for kids, a piece of the Campo del Cielo meteorite that kids can test with magnets, free astro stuff provided by NASA, and more.
Planetarium shows that day include:
- 3 p.m. – Molecularium
- 5 p.m. – Space Shuttle: On the Wing of a Dream
- 7 p.m. – Eclipse!
- 9 p.m. – Music 360, Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
Everything but the planetarium shows are free during the festival. Planetarium admission is $5 for adults (ages 13-59), $4 for ages 4-12 and 60 and up, free for anyone with an SF ID and for kids ages 3 and under. Music 360 admission is $10. T
Jane Daicoff, a retired SF humanities professor, will tell festivalgoers about their astrological moon signs.
“This is an event that has aspects for everybody,” said Hoffman. “For people who are interested in just looking at the beauty of the universe, we’ve got plenty of things for them to look at. For those interested in learning more about the universe, we will have plenty of information.”
Easter Egg Moon is sponsored by the Santa Fe College Natural Science Department’s Astronomy program and the Kika Silva Plan Planetarium. Call 352-395-5354 for more information or visit the planetarium online at www.sfcollege.edu/planetarium.