This year, National Astronomy Day falls on May 15, 2021. Read on to learn about how this bi-annual celebration began, and how you can celebrate it from wherever you are in the world!
Where it Began
National Astronomy Day was started in 1973 by Doug Berger, who was then the president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California. Like all of us here at Lowell, Doug dreamed of bringing the wonders of the cosmos to people from all walks of life. To accomplish this, he set up telescopes in busy urban areas for people passing by to look through, hoping to spark an interest in the field of astronomy in the general public and encourage them to learn more about it. Doug’s vision paid off—since the first iteration of Astronomy Day, it grew to a national level as it was adopted by groups and organizations across the United States, and finally to an national level as it spread to astronomy enthusiasts around the world.
Originally, Astronomy Day was scheduled to occur on a Saturday that fell on, or near, the first quarter Moon of spring. Today, it’s celebrated twice a year: once during or near a quarter Moon in the ...