Astronomy Day 2012
Saturday, October 20 (3:00-10:00 p.m.)

Observatory Home Page
Observatory Events Page
About the Observatory
Observatory Exhibits
Observatory Gift Shop
Skylights (Our quarterly newsletter)
School Programs
Resources for teachers
Life Story of a Star (WWW Tour)
Exploring the Milky Way (WWW Tour)
Astronomy day is coming up on Saturday, October 20, so get ready for an educational and fun-filled afternoon of activities and contests followed by an exciting evening of stargazing. This year's activities include watching the Observatories CO2-powered rocket go-cart race around the parking lot; observing the Sun safely through the Observatory’s big telescope; hunting for the planets in our giant scale model of solar system and building, decorating and flying a water powered bottle rocket. There will be prizes awarded for the best looking bottle rocket and the longest flight.

You don't have to wait for Astronomy Day to build your rocket for the competition. If you would like, you can build it at home ahead of time and just bring it with you on Astronomy day.  Here are some very helpful links on how to build a good bottle rocket:
Making Paper Nosecones Water Rocket Stability Paper Fins for Bottle Rockets
Simple Backslider Bottle Rocket Robert Youens Water Rockets  

Then, as the day turns to night, beginning at 7:30 pm, you get to observe the deep craters and smooth plains on our Moon, and the distant planet, Uranus, through our big telescopes. And here’s the best part of all ... Astronomy Day is FREE so bring the kids out and have an out–of-this-world adventure at the Lake Afton Public Observatory.

Our regularly scheduled public programs are presented every Friday and Saturday evening throughout the year. The Observatory is open from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. during the months of October through February.

Special Admission for Astronomy Day ONLY:

  • adults - FREE!
  • ages 6 - 12 - FREE!
  • Under six - FREE!

    3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
    - Solar Observation
        Learn about the Sun and safely observe it through our big telescope.

    3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
    - Build a Rocket and Decorate it
        Design and build a water powered bottle rocket out of a 2-liter soda bottle.  Then decorated it to be the best looking rocket in the skies when we  launch them later in the day.

    4:15 pm
    - Scale Model of the Solar System
        Walk among the planets in a GIANT scale model of our solar system and explore its vast expanse.

    5:00 pm
    - Rocket Powered Go-Cart Demo
        Watch as our CO2 powered go-cart zooms around the parking lot track creating a huge exhaust plume.

    5:15 pm
    - Scale Model of the Solar System
        Walk through a GIANT scale model of our solar system and discover its vast emptiness.

    5:15 pm
    - Bottle Rocket Judging
        Judges will decide whose bottle rocket is the best looking high-flyer and will award prizes.

    5:45 pm
    - Bottle Rocket Launching
        Watch as everyone that built a bottle rocket gets to launch it. The one that stays in the air the longest will get a prize!

    8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    - Universe of the 1920's - Moon & Planets
        Join us in the Observatory as we observe the Moon and Uranus through out big telescope and discuss some of the discoveries made over the last century.

    NOTE: Our local astronomy club, the Kansas Astronomical Observers, will have telescopes set up on the pad outside to the North of the main Observatory building.