Astrofest comes to campus


Astrofest is on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Eyring Science Center, a free event open to students and community members.

Denise Stephens, an event coordinator in the physics and astronomy department, said this event is a great opportunity for families to have fun and be educated about science.

“The solar telescope display will be very popular this year as we field several questions on the upcoming partial solar eclipse Sunday evening,” Stephens said.

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Participants observing the sun and its sunspots through a safe telescope
Adults and children alike are getting ready for Astrofest hosted by The Department of Physics and Astronomy and BYU Astronomical Society.

Guests who participate will receive solar viewing glasses to see the partial solar eclipse for free.  The price of safe solar glasses range from $9 to $50.

“Solar eclipses happen somewhere on earth every year, but from any given location you can see a partial eclipse only about once every 10 to 15 years,”  said Jeannette Lawler, one of the event coordinators.

On Saturday activities like physics, acoustic demonstrations and planetarium shows will take place indoors. Children can build their own rockets, make stars wheels and fold different types of paper airplanes.

“My favorite activity…are the physics demo shows because we have great demonstrations of different physical principals and it is so much fun to watch,” Stephens said.

Outside participants will launch rockets, fly paper airplanes and play in the jumping house. Participants will also be able to explore “Mars” by climbing a rock wall.

One of the exclusive activities for this year’s event is the meteorite room where BYU geology students will teach children to identify and find meteorites in their own backyard.

There are also exclusive activities directed towards scouts.

“Cub scouts can meet requirements for pin and belt loops,” Lawler said. “Scouts can fulfill a few requirements towards their astronomy merit badge.”

Astrofest  began in 2008 with 500 people. Since then the number of participants has doubled every year. Last year about 1200 participants showed up and 2000 people are expected this year.


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