The Tucson Astronomy Festival kicks off Saturday, April 28th at Brandi Fenton Park. It’s a family friendly event running from 3 to 9 p.m. The event is completely free.

There will be astronomy activities that vary throughout the day, and some door prizes including a small telescope that will be given away to someone under 17-years-old.

Jim Knoll said telescopes are all about light-gathering. The bigger the mirror, the more light can be captured, allowing you to see objects farther away.

During the early part of the day, you can use a special telescope, made by a company in Tucson, designed specifically to look at the sun. That will fill up the entire eye piece, and you’ll be able to see close ups including dark spots and the plasma.

There will also be activities like color filters, spectroscopy, and informational sessions about black holes and meteorites.

Knoll said there will be 8 to 10 telescopes outside for night-time observing. You can bring your personal telescope and get assistance setting it up as well. The night sky viewing will be from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Knoll said tomorrow you will be able to see planets like Mercury, Venus, Mars and Uranus.

See the event schedule here:

Hands-On Exhibits for Kids 3 to 6:30 PM Safe Solar viewing of the Sun 3 to 6:30 PM Door Prizes will be given away at 7 PM winners must be present Youth under 17 Grand Prize: Tabletop Telescope Other prizes for the entire family Night Sky Viewing 7:30 PM to 9 PM



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