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Madison Metropolitan School District

Summer Events in Astronomy and Space Exploration

Summer Events in Astronomy and Space Exploration
Atlantis Shuttle

Since the planetarium is closed during the summer, we won't be around to point you to special events through our Facebook and Twitter updates. So, we thought it would be good to give you a heads-up regarding some of the exciting events you'll want to watch for over the summer.

  • SUMMER Solstice:  The official beginning of summer (northern hemisphere) is on June 21st.
  • FINAL Space Shuttle Launch:  The last shuttle, Atlantis, sits on the launch pad as I write this. The lift-off is currently targeted for July 8th. With it's crew of four, Atlantis will ferry spare parts and supplies to the International Space Station.
  • DAWN arrives at the asteroid Vesta:  After a four year journey, the Dawn spacecraft is creeping up on the second largest asteroid, Vesta. It's currently slated to arrive at Vesta in July.
  • JUNO heads toward Jupiter [alternate site]:  With the launch window for Juno opening on August 5, the spacecraft will begin a journey which will help us to know Jupiter and the Solar System like never before. I highly recommend the online tour at the primary link above.
  • PERSEID Meteor Shower:  Unfortunately, the full moon will brighten the sky, obscuring many of the meteors at the peak, August 12-13. But the Perseids are somewhat active throughout August.

Have a great summer! And we look forward to seeing you at our public events/shows in the fall, and working with your groups in the planetarium.

Eclipse Glasses for Sale!

Image shows a Sun shape made with eclipse glasses

Be safe, order a pair for everyone in the family!


Be prepared to look at the October 14, 2023 and the April 8, 2024 Solar eclipses!

Did you know the sun is a great object to look at any day... sometimes its sunspots are so large that you can see them with just your eyes (protected with these amazing eclipse glasses, of course) from our spaceship Earth at more than 93,000,000 miles away.

Glasses purchased must be picked up at the planetarium by appointment or at any of our public events.   Cost is $5 per pair with all proceeds directly benefiting the planetarium.  Send an email to the planetarium to arrange for a pickup time.

Cash or check is our preferred method of payment but payment through our online store is possible, if you have to use a credit card.

Buy a pair for yourself, every family member, as a gift, or simply donate the purchase so that we can provide safe eclipse glasses to others in our community.

Additional donations welcomed!!