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Space Science Events

Starry Nights

2018 Dates and Times:

Dates Observing Event
January 5 6 - 8 p.m. First Friday - Lunar Eclipse Preview
January 31 5 - 7 a.m. Super Blue Moon Eclipse
February 2 6 - 8 p.m. First Friday - Da Vinci: Preview
March 2 7 - 9 p.m. First Friday - Da Vinci: Anatomy
April 6 8 - 9 p.m. First Friday - Da Vinci: Flight
April 18 8 - 9 p.m. Sandia Mt. Stargazing
May 4 8:30 - 9 p.m. First Friday - Da Vinci: Futurist
June 1 8:30 - 9 p.m. First Friday - Da Vinci: Technology
June 30 TBA Asteroid Day
July 6 8:30 - 9 p.m. First Friday - Da Vinci: Earh Sci.
August 3 8:30 - 9 p.m. First Friday: Mars Close Encounter
September 7 8 - 9 p.m. First Friday
September 12 8 - 9 p.m. Sandia Mt. Stargazing
October 5 7 - 9 p.m. First Friday
October 20 TBA Intl. Observe the Moon Night
November 2 7 - 9 p.m. First Friday
November 26 TBA InSight Lands on Mars
December 7 6 - 8 p.m. Old Town Holiday Stroll

In 2018, 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

April 6, 2018 - 5:30pm

Unleash your imagination and curiosity and contemplate man’s ability to fly like the birds. As part of the current, temporary exhibition Da Vinci—The Genius at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, find out how Leonardo da Vinci’s illustrations and study of natural flight eventually lead to modern aircraft during the next First Friday, April 6, from 5:30 – 9 p.m.

During this special evening, the Da Vinci—The Genius exhibition will be discounted by $5, making the final admission charge: Adults $17, Seniors $15 & Children $10. Anyone wanting to see the permanent exhibits without da Vinci may purchase museum-only admission for only $5 per person, a $3 savings from the usual adult price.

Visitors to the museum will engage in hands-on activities and chat with experts on flight. Learn about the wings of bats from the organization Fight White Nose Syndrome, birds from local educators Tish Morris and Karen Herzenberg, and flying machines from ultralight pilot Jeff Gilkey. There will be plenty of kid-friendly activities and great conversations!

“Leonardo carefully looked at bird wings to figure out how to build a flying machine. His beautiful sketches tell us a lot about flying,” said Ayesha Burdett, the museum’s Curator of Bioscience.

Da Vinci – The Genius demonstrates the full scope of Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable genius as an inventor, artist, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, musician and architect. Guests will enjoy many unique pieces including life-size machine inventions, entertaining animations of da Vinci’s most notable Renaissance works, and an eye-opening, in-depth analysis of his most famous piece, “Mona Lisa.” Visitors will be able to push, pull, crank, and interact with many of these exhibits for a hands-on understanding of the scientific principles behind them.

The DynaTheater will be showing an episode of the Public Broadcasting Service Series Secrets of the Dead called Leonardo, The Man Who Saved Science. Admission to this program is included in da Vinci admission; however, donations are always appreciated. Two showings begin at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and each lasts one hour. The DynaTheater concession stand will be open before both showings and close when the video begins.

The Planetarium will present Fractal Friday at the usual times of 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. with the normal admission of: Adults $10, Seniors $7 & Children (3-12) $5. Shows typically sell out in advance, so get your tickets early on the Fractal Foundation’s website:

The Museum Observatory will be open to the night sky April 6 for one hour from 8 – 9 p.m., weather permitting, and da Vinci exhibition admission will be required for access. The Nature Works store will be selling fascinating da Vinci merchandise and other unique gifts from 5:30 – 8 p.m. on this First Friday. The Hope Café will be open continuously from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. that day, so you can enjoy dinner while waiting for the museum to reopen (only the café entrance will be open from 5 – 5:30).

Crack the da Vinci code and get a special discount! On each First Friday through July, a special word based upon a da Vinci invention will unlock a 10 percent discount on a da Vinci audio tour when deliberately said at the tour rental kiosk. The code word for April is “Deltaplano.”

May 4, 2018 - 5:30pm

See how modern defensive systems work, some of which were inspired by da Vinci’s drawings.

June 1, 2018 - 5:30pm

Discover how mechanical technology from the Renaissance is used to explore other planets.

July 6, 2018 - 5:30pm

Learn about da Vinci’s observations on the land, sea, and sky.

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