Astrobash celebrates 60 years of space exploration

  • Courtesy photo Alyssa Grace, outreach assistant at Gemini Observatory, shows patrons how to build their own spectroscope during Astrobash hosted July 13 by Thelma Parker Memorial Public and School Library in Waimea.

Thelma Parker Memorial Public and School Library in Waimea celebrated 60 years of space exploration and marked the end of the 2019 Summer Reading Program, “A Universe of Stories,” with Astrobash on July 13.

The free, family-friendly space celebration event was presented in collaboration with Canada-France Hawaii Telescope; Gemini Observatory; James Clerk Maxwell Telescope/East Asian Observatory; Nancy Tashima, NASA solar system ambassador/master teacher, NASA New Horizons fellow and Onizuka Space Science Program director; University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy; W. M. Keck Observatory; and West Hawaii Astronomy Club.

About 260 children and their families enjoyed Aunty Mimi’s spectacular live science show, made and launched Alka Seltzer rockets, explored the amazing night sky in a planetarium and made their own galaxy/nebula. They also learned about black holes, including how two observatories on Maunakea recently helped capture the first image of a black hole.

They experienced “Story Time from Space,” featuring astronauts reading books aloud from the International Space Station; enjoyed an ultraviolet light demonstration; got hands-on with an infrared camera; built spectroscopes; and viewed the sun through solar telescopes and a solar spectrograph.

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