Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing at TWC Astronomy Day

On July 20, 1969, Mission Commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module, Eagle in the Sea of Tranquility, and Armstrong became the first human to ever stand on a world that was not Earth. The landing was broadcast live on TV to a worldwide audience. For those of us who watched this broadcast, we will never forget the voice of Walter Cronkite and how we were glued to the TV wanting to remember every second of what was unfolding before us. We will never forget Armstrong’s words as he stepped onto the lunar surface, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” Apollo 11 fulfilled a national goal proposed in 1961 by President John F, Kennedy, “… before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of this amazing achievement! To celebrate, The Wilderness Center’s annual Astronomy Day will celebrate all things MOON! Offering fun for the whole family, Astronomy Day’s diverse schedule of children’s activities, planetarium theater programs, displays about the moon and moon landings, and lectures for adults will culminate with a presentation by NASA Glenn engineer Jeffrey Woytach.

If skies are clear, the day’s activities will close with an opportunity to observe the moon through telescopes in TWC observatory. The public is welcome to come for one activity or all. There will be food options available for dinner.




Exploring the Moon by Dave Gill, TWC Astronomy Club member – 2:00

In this program, we will discuss how you can explore the Moon with your own binoculars or telescopes.  Then we will talk about how geologists have explored the Moon from Earth.  Finally, we will discuss how the Apollo missions gave us “ground truths” about the nature of the Moon and its history.

Leaving the Cradle by Jeffrey Woytach, NASA Glenn engineer – 4:00

Humanity stands at the threshold of a new age of space exploration – establishing a Human presence on the Moon, extending that presence to Mars and then onto wherever our dreams take us.  “Leaving the Cradle” will present NASA’s plans for reaching the Moon and Mars, as well as plans being made by other countries and by private industry.

Mr. Woytach has been with NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center since June 1983.  He has worked on space missions launched on the Space Shuttle and the Atlas/Centaur launch vehicle, and on flight hardware for the international Space Station.  He currently serves as lead systems engineer for the Kilopower Technology Demonstration Mission, which will place a nuclear fission reactor generating 1-3 kilowatts of power on the lunar surface. Mr. Woytach is also providing systems engineering support to JPL’s Psyche mission. Psyche will visit an asteroid believed to be composed entirely of metal.

Planetarium Theater Shows
Moons: Worlds of Mystery – 1:00 & 3:00
The show begins by exploring our own Moon then turns to the incredible diversity of moons around Jupiter and Saturn and the possibility that some of these moons may support extraterrestrial life.  Our exploration takes us to the outer solar system, with the discovery of moons orbiting asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects like Pluto.  We are introduced to the great diversity of worlds both large and small that orbit the Sun.
Tonight’s Sky Planetarium Show– 6:00
Discover your way around the night sky! The instructor will follow from one constellation to another to help you learn how to “navigate” amongst the stars. You will learn star names, interesting facts and the planets in tonight’s sky. 
Two Small Pieces of Glass – 7:00
Learn how the telescope has helped us understand our place in space and our understanding of the universe.  A local astronomer enlightens students on the history and workings of the telescope.  They see how large observatories use these instruments to explore the universe and the discoveries these incredible tools have made.

Children’s Activities 1:00 – 8:00

Experience what it is like to walk on the Moon, make and launch a rocket, and learn about Moon phases, meteor strikes, lunar and solar eclipses and the Moon’s rotation. There will also be historical and educational displays related to the Moon and the Apollo mission.

Star Watch – 8:00

Weather permitting


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