Continuing in the tradition started by the Cassini mission to Saturn, Scientist for a Day challenges students in grades 5-12 to think like NASA scientists. They examine real spacecraft images of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Saturn’s moon Titan, and Jupiter’s moon Europa, then hoose the destination they think would be the best place to return with another spacecraft to learn even more about these amazing worlds.
The essay contest meets various U.S. National Standards for English and Science set by the National Council of Teachers of English / International Reading Association, and the National Research Council.
It also addresses topics covered in Next Generation Science Standards, including:
Middle School - MS-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe MS-ESS1-3. Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system
High School - HS-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe HS-ESS1-6. Apply scientific reasoning and evidence from ancient Earth materials, meteorites, and other planetary surfaces to construct an account of Earth’s formation and early history
Deadline: February 8, 2019
Learn more at:
NASA's Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the sun's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.
Launch Window: July 31 - August 19, 2018
You are invited to submit your name for it to be included in a memory card that will fly aboard the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft. You will be able to download a personalized certificate.
Submissions will be accepted through April 27, 2018.
Send your name to the Sun:
Learn more about the Parker Solar Probe:
The Planetarium at Raritan Valley Community College will be offering many exciting programs this fall, Visit www.raritanval.edu/community-resources/planetarium to learn more and to sign up for their newsletter.
Weather permitting, the 3M Observatory will be open to the public on Saturday evenings beginning September 23 from sunset to about 10:00 p.m.
The Planetarium is closed to make some needed improvements to our theater.
We will reopen on November 1. See you then!
Coming in November!
The Skies over Hogwarts
Our witches and wizards will return to the Planetarium
Movie Magic laser concert
A new laser concert featuring themes from popular movies
Our educator guides your through the Planetarium's digital sky, discovering stars, constellations, and deep sky delights.
And more! Our full schedule will be published in October.
Our offices are open Monday - Friday,
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
You can reach us by phone or email:
Venus, Mercury, Mars, and the star Regulus dance past each other in the eastern sky all month. Venus, at magnitude -3.9, dominates the show. Next in peak brightness is Mercury, of magnitude +2.2 to -1.3. Regulus is next in brightness at +1.4, with Mars last at +1.8.(Remember, negative numbers are brighter than positive numbers, and a low positive number, like 1 is much brighter than a magnitude 3. The dimmest star the unaided eye can see in a dark sky is about magnitude 6.)
Mars passes Regulus on Sept. 5. Mercury passes Regulus on September 10. Mercury is at greatest elongation, 18 degrees west of the Sun, on Sept. 12. Mercury gets 11 degrees to the lower left of Venus on Sept 14 before dropping back to the horizon. Mars and Mercury are closest to each other Sept 16. The mornings of Sept 17, 18, and 19, the thin crescent Moon joins the dance. Venus passes Regulus on Sept 19-20. At mid-month, Venus rises 2 hours 23 minutes before sunrise.
Fall starts for the Northern Hemisphere on September 22 at 4:02 pm EDT.
Full Moon: September 6
Last Quarter Moon: September 13
New Moon: September 20
First Quarter Moon: September 27