Planetarium Visit


We will visit the Einstein Planetarium at the National Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution the evening of Wednesday April 16. Our visit will be jointly made with HONR 216. You are expected to attend. This serves in part as a replacement class for April 29 when I will be away, so please alert me of any conflicts.

This is a "private" showing, not one of the regular shows. We will cover the elements of naked eye astronomy and much more. That said, you are welcome to bring guests. There is no admission charge and our joint honors classes should not challenge the capacity of the facility.


Hopefully you have all been to the Smithsonian by now. If not, shame on you. You are in college, in proximity to one of the great museums of the world. Take advantage. You never know; you might wind up spending the rest of your life in Wood Buffalo, Alberta wresting burnable fuel from the Athabasca oil sands.

It is easy to get to the National Air & Space Museum. Take the College Park Metro shuttle bus from lot HH in front of the Stamp Student Union to the College Park Metro station. Take the Metro to L'Enfant Plaza. The Green Line goes straight from College Park to L'Enfant Plaza. The museum is just north along 6th St, very close from the East exit of L'Enfant Plaza station.

If you have a car, it is frequently possible to drive up and park nearby after rush hour.

We'll aim to meet inside the museum on the main entrance side. That is off Independence Avenue, opposite the mall entrance.


Aim to meet in the museum by 6:45pm. (There is probably a security screening.) The program will last 'til 9:15 or so.

You are of course welcome and encouraged to explore the museum(s) on your own prior to this program.


Apparently the Pope will be visiting Washington, DC at the time of our Planetarium trip. This will mean crowds to see him, and road closures for his motorcade. Hopefully this won't impact us at all, but my guess is that it will be easier to take the Metro than to drive.

The following from the staff at the Smithsonian:

The students will arrive and leave via the Independence Ave. doors security checkpoint. We will gather in the lobby, and then take the escalator to the Planetarium at or shortly after 7:00 p.m. The session will be inside the Planetarium with one bathroom break for the duration of the lecture. The session is scheduled to end at 9:15 p.m.

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