Space exploration has always been one of my favorite interests outside of my professional life. Gazing up at the stars and listening to stories about the universe always makes me feel like our world is part of something so big and beautiful. Living in the city means access to a variety of science museums but the light pollution means at least an hour of driving to properly see the stars. Instead, I find stars in the city at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium.
Now that the weather is cooling off, the planetarium is a great place to check out the stars without freezing outside. Every Saturday and Sunday, the planetarium hosts two programs: Seasonal Night Sky at 13:00 and Exploring the Universe at 16:00. I particularly enjoy the Seasonal Night Sky program because it gives me a sense of what I will see when I go stargazing away from city at a later date. Plus, the park rangers who run the programs are always happy to answer questions and recommend the best places to see the stars. Tickets to the programs are free and can be picked up a half hour prior to showtime.
The planetarium has picnic tables nearby so if it’s not too cold, bring a lunch to enjoy before or after the show!