Virtual astronomy evening with the family to discuss the Milky Way on January 12


Michigan State University-St. Andrews will be hosting their next Virtual Family Astronomy Night from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12. The theme will be “The Milky Way: our house in space”.

You’ve probably heard that our solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy. But what exactly is a galaxy? Who coined the name “Milky Way galaxy” in the first place? What do we know about the Milky Way? How big is it, what shape does it have and how many stars does it have? What else is there besides stars in it? How old is he? Are stars still forming? If so, where? Is there a model? Where is the center and how far are we? And if we can’t see the center (which we can’t), how do we know where it is or what might be hiding there?

How do we know any of this information? There is so much to say. Plus, what are the planets and constellations doing this month? Join the group through Zoom to find out more.

Those interested in participating must register to receive the Zoom login. You can register until the presentation start time or even during the meeting to join:

Presenters will chronicle early observations of the Milky Way, as well as early understandings, to modern studies involving satellite images and spectroscopic observations. Along the way, they will provide answers to all of the questions raised above. Finally, a monthly tech update will focus on the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope: its purpose, progress, and amazing history.

And, as always, the hosts will show you how to find lots of fun things in the sky in January and early February. Have you noticed that the Winter Hexagon, which locates eight (not just six) of the brightest stars in the sky, has returned to the evening sky? Did you know Orion can be used as a pointing system to locate other stars and constellations? Did you know that over the next month, three planets will move from the evening sky to the morning sky? The presenters will help you see all of these things for yourself.

Time will be allocated for live Q&A throughout the event. American Sign Language interpretation is also in the spotlight at the event.


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