History of AstroDay
Astronomy Day and AstroDay Hilo
Learn more about the event that inspired AstroDay from the Astronomical League: http://www.astroleague.org/al/astroday/astroday.html
Bringing Astronomy to the People
Astronomy Day is a grass roots movement created to share the joy of astronomy with the general population - "Bringing Astronomy to the People." On Astronomy Day, thousands of people who may have never looked through a telescope will have an opportunity to see and experience the sights that excite so many amateur and professional astronomers. Astronomy clubs, science museums, observatories, universities, planetariums, laboratories, libraries, and nature centers host special events and activities to connect their local communities with astronomical resources. One of the goals is to highlight opportunities for people to get involved with astronomy events and provide information on careers and education. Some communities will celebrate with a whole week of events, or Astronomy Week!
In Hilo, AstroDay is tradionally celebrated in April or May. Astronomy Week begins on the Monday preceding AstroDay and ends the following Sunday.
Dates of Astronomy Day & AstroDay Hilo
|Year||Astronomy Week||Nat'l Astronomy Day||AstroDay Hilo|
|2002||April 14 - 20||April 20||April 20|
|2003||April 27 - May 3||May 3||June 7|
|2004||April 18 - 24||April 24||April 24|
|2005||April 11 - 17||April 16||April 16|
|2006||April 30 - May 7||May 6||May 7|
|2007||April 16 - 22||April 21||April 21|
|2008||May 5 - 11||May 10||May 3|
|2009||April 29 - May 3||May 2||May 2|
|2010||April 19 - 25||April 24||May 1|
|2011||May 2 - 8||May 7||May 7|
|2012||April 23 - 29||April 28||May 5|
|2013||April 15 - 21||April 20||May 4|
|2014||May 5 - 11||May 10||May 3|
|2015||April 20 -26||April 25||May 2|
|2016||May 9 - 15|| May 14
Astronomy Day events take place at hundreds of sites across the United States. It is also hosted internationally in England, Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, the Philippines, Argentina, Malaysia, New Guinea, as well as a growing number of countries each year. Each region or country adds their own cultural flavors to the science-based event.
AstroDay speakers have featured astronauts, local and antional astronomers and NASA personnel. Other activitites include moon rock displays, moon gravity simulations, games, prizes, astronomical food, scale models of the solar system, space hardware, space themed dance and poetry, and guided observations of the sun. Dozens of astronomy and space science organizations around the state are involved with booths and outreach educators. Teachers use the opportunities offered during Astronomy Day or AstroDay to promote the study of astronomy in their classrooms.
History of Astronomy Day
The concept of Astronomy Day began in California by Doug Berger, president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California (AANC). in 1973, Berger convinced the members of AANC, an amateur astronomy club, to set up telescopes and displays in locations where people congregated--parks, shopping areas or busy streets--instead of having the public travel long distances to remote observing locations. While not ideal for serious astronomical observation, this strategy proved successful, introducing more people to the rewards of the night sky, as well as encouraging their participation in other astronomy related events.
AstroDay in Hilo
AstroDay in Hilo was founded by Gary Fujihara, telescope/instrument operator at Subaru Telescope, in 2002. Gary learned about Astronomy Day through the Astronomical League and organized AstroDay in Hilo to promote collaboration and understanding of the culture and science that takes place on Maunakea and throughout the state of Hawai'i.
Hilo's first AstroDay was a great success. The event won the 2002 Astronomy Day of the Year award from the Astronomical League, which was presented at ALCON 2002.
Today AstroDay is an annual tradition in Hilo, bringing scientists and science educators into the community, sparking interests in science careers and discoveries for children and adults of all ages.