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Space Science Events

Starry Nights

2019 Dates and Times:

Dates Observing Event
January 3 12 - 3 p.m. New Horizons at Ultima Thule
January 4 6 - 8 p.m. First Friday - Lunar Eclipse Preview
January 20 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. Supermoon Total Eclipse
February 1 6 - 8 p.m. First Friday - Fall in Love with Science
March 1 7 - 9 p.m. First Friday - Brain Teasers
April 5 8 - 9 p.m. First Friday - Gray Matters
April 10 8 - 9 p.m. Stargazing at Valle de Oro NWR
May 3 8:30 - 9 p.m. First Friday - Be Safe
June 7 8:30 - 9 p.m. First Friday
June 30 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Asteroid Day
July 5 8:30 - 9 p.m. First Friday
August 2 8:30 - 9 p.m. First Friday
September 4 8 - 9 p.m. Sandia Mountain Stargazing
September 6 8 - 9 p.m. First Friday
October 4 7 - 9 p.m. First Friday - Intl. Observe the Moon Night
November 1 7 - 9 p.m. First Friday
November 11 12 - 4 p.m. Transit of Mercury
December 6 6 - 8 p.m. Old Town Holiday Stroll

In 2019, we're offering monthly night-sky observing opportunities to coincide with museum, local, or international events.  More specific information about each activity will be updated below as the day draws closer.  These events are subject to change and may happen at locations other than the museum.
Members of local astronomy groups will help you study the moon and stars through a variety of telescopes. Each event will feature any visible planets and other interesting objects in the sky.
The observing part of any event may be canceled when the sky is cloudy.  If weather conditions are in question, check the museum's Facebook page for updates an hour before each event is scheduled to begin:

Upcoming Events

June 29, 2019 - 10:00am

Dr Bhatt Medical Director of Addictions & Substance Abuse Programs at UNM, will discuss the needs and barriers of treatment of underrepresented populations in New Mexico.  The discussion will also include diverse treatments for addictive illnesses. The cafe will be held in the STEM Lecture Hall at the Museum. Enter through the glass entrance off of the north parking lot. Admission is free but a reservation is required. RSVP to Rose Poston at 505-277-2396 or Admission to the museum is not included with this program. Seats are limited and available on a first-come first-served basis.

Interested in exploring the impact of drugs to our health, environment and safety as a society...explore the museum's exhibit Drugs:Costs & Consequences from the Drug Enforcement Adminstration's Museum. The exhibit runs through December 8, 2019. Entrance to the exhibit is included with regular admission to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science.  

June 30, 2019 - 10:00am

Experience Asteroid Day at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, learn about asteroids, their impacts on Earth, and NASA’s mission to the asteroid belt. All activities will be included in museum admission that day.

In the ViewSpace Theater, the museum will be streaming a special live broadcast of other Asteroid Day celebrations around the world. Hear from astronomy experts about the nature of asteroids and how they influenced Earth’s history. The video will continue throughout the day on June 30 during the museum’s normal hours. Find out more at:

Asteroid Day will feature hands-on activities for the family starting at 10 a.m. At one of the tables, learn how to tell the difference between meteorites and Earth rocks from UNM’s Institute of Meteoritics.

This will be the last year that Asteroid Day includes the exhibition Dawn’s Mission to the Asteroid Belt. This temporary exhibit describes how the Dawn spacecraft works and what amazing discoveries it’s made between Mars and Jupiter. A new information panel, on public display for the first time, will highlight sites examined on the dwarf planet Ceres at the end of Dawn’s mission. The curator of the exhibition, Dr. Tom Prettyman, will be at an “Asteroid Advice Booth” and available to answer questions during most of the event (see his biography below).

Solar observing will be offered by the Rio Rancho Astronomical Society if the sky is clear. Safely examine any activity on the sun through special telescopes in front of the museum entrance.

The center of the museum’s acclaimed Walk Through Time shows the dramatic asteroid impact that researchers believe lead to the disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. On this day only, a museum docent will lead a brief guided tour of the area and describe exactly why scientist think a rock from the sky changed the course of Earth’s development. Participants should assemble at the bleachers next to the new Bisti Beast in the museum atrium at 10:30 a.m.

At 1 p.m. two planetarium shows will be presented. The first is a brief description of the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment missions scheduled for 2022.  Find out more about this international collaboration from these sites:
The other show will be the planetarium feature Incoming!  Asteroids and comets have collided with our planet throughout its history, changing the course of life on Earth and shaping the world we know today. Explore the past, present, and future of our Solar System and the landmark discoveries scientists have made sending spacecraft to visit tiny worlds. Admission to these shows is included in museum admission on June 30.

Asteroid Day happens on June 30 every year and is an international campaign to educate people worldwide about asteroids, the impact hazard they may pose, and what we can do to protect our planet, families, communities, and future generations.  Events held in various cities on Asteroid Day range from professional lectures and personalized programs for the public to live entertainment, all to help raise public awareness and support for ways to increase detection and tracking of asteroids.  Find out more from the event’s international site:

About Dr. Prettyman:
Dr. Tom Prettyman is one of several Planetary Science Institute scientists working in New Mexico and is proud to call Albuquerque home. Tom’s Ph.D. is in Nuclear Engineering, and his area of expertise is planetary remote sensing. He has experience working on NASA planetary missions, including Lunar Prospector and 2001 Mars Odyssey. He is a coinvestigator of the Dawn mission, for which he serves as the lead for the Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND), the only US payload instrument.

July 18, 2019 - 6:30pm

2019 Voices in Science Lecture Series

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11's flight to the Moon. New Mexico space author Loretta Hall will take you along on the journey that sent the first human beings to a brand new world.

Loretta Hall is an award winning author of "Space Pioneers: In Their Own Words", "Out of this World: New Mexico's Contributions to Space Travel", "The Complete Space Buff's Bucket List", and "Miguel & Michelle Visit Spaceport America." Among other writing awards, she was a Silver Winner in the Science category of the IndieFab awards for "Space Pioneers." She is also an award-winning speaker and a Space Ambassador for the National Space Society.

There will be a book signing.


Cost: $8 nonmembers, $7 members, $5 students. Preregistration is encouraged or tickets can be purchased at the door the evening of the event (if seats are available). Purchase Here Questions:


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