Celebrate White House Astronomy Night this October 19th
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host an astronomy event on the South Lawn of the White House, October 7, 2009. Participants include: Dr. John Holdren, Office of Science and Technology Policy; Caroline Moore, the youngest person to discover a supernova; and Lucas Bolyard, who recently discovered an anomalous pulsar with the GBT. Caption Credit: NRAO

Image Credit: White House: Chuck Kennedy - White House Flickr account. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons )

NSN member clubs are invited to host outreach events on White House Astronomy Night this coming Monday, October 19th. White House Astronomy Night events have been held since 2009, and serve to expand the public's knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in an informal setting and to entice young people to become the next generation of great scientists, engineers and inventors in our fast-paced and technology-driven world. 

Astronomy and space exploration are some of the most visible and engaging examples of science and technology for people of all ages, and can be a very powerful hook for inspiring children to become interested in a future career working in STEM. T
here is no better time than now to show the public, and especially young people, the excitement of directly engaging with astronomy and space science;  we are in the middle of a huge boom in the amount and availability of  information we know about our Universe, the quality and affordability of  advanced astronomical tools for the public are exceptional, and a newly competitive and exciting mix of public and private space travel promises to bring humanity to new destinations in our solar system. The young people of today will make up the next generation of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and astronauts. One glimpse through a telescope at the craters of the Moon or rings of Saturn, could inspire a young child today to become the next Carl Sagan, Steven Hawking, or Sally Ride. Who knows? They could even have their moment of inspiration from your own eyepiece!
The White House will be hosting their own special event this October 19. Scientists, engineers, and luminaries from the space industry and astronomy will gather on the South Lawn of the White House for an evening of fascinating talks and stargazing. Astronomy clubs are invited to host their own events in conjunction with the White House and help bring the wonders of STEM to their own communities from sidewalks, libraries, observatories, museums, and parks across the country! If you or your club are interested in partnering with the upcoming White House Astronomy Night, let the organizers know here, and check  out the official White House press release for the event, with more details, here.

Good luck, and may you have clear skies* the night of October 19th! 

* Clouded out or no access to telescopes? Control your own robotic telescope with MicroObservatory!


Image of President Obama looking through a telescope.
President Barack Obama looks through a telescope at White House Astronomy Night in 2009.
Image Credit:  White House: Chuck Kennedy - White House Flickr account. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons 


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