23 Aug Space Place opens new astronomy center
Madison, Wis. – Space Place, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s astronomy outreach center, will be moving to a new location at Villager Mall, opening Sunday, Aug. 28. Opening week activities continue through Thursday, Sept. 1 and are free and open to the public.
“We had pretty much outgrown our other place where we’d been for 15 years,” said director Jim Lattis. “Our programming, our attendance has increased steadily every year, and our ambitions for programs and the partnerships that we wanted to enter into had all sort of outgrown the old space.”
The new facility, roughly double the size of the old location at 9,100 square feet, will be able to accommodate distinct exhibit hall, lecture hall and workshop areas as opposed to the overlap that was present before. The Office of the Chancellor provided $300,000 to acquire and set up the new location.
Among the regular features of the exhibit hall, including the OAO-2 satellite and suborbital rocket payload instrument, are new permanent exhibits about galaxies, the solar system, the colors of the universe, as well as an amateur radio center, a new rooftop observation area and a gift shop.
In addition to its normally scheduled activities and pre-arranged school trips, Space Place will host an open house on Sunday, Aug. 28, from 1-4 p.m. featuring science displays, activities and other entertainment. Brief welcome remarks will be made at 2 p.m. in the lecture hall. Other events will continue throughout the week:
• On Monday at 7 p.m., Space Place will host the “Wonders of Physics” demonstration.
• On Tuesday at 7 p.m., Space Place will premier the film, “Astronomy on the Edge of Space,” a video documentary about the work of UW-Madison’s suborbital rocket scientists.
• On Wednesday from 9-11 p.m., an evening of star-gazing will take place at UW-Madison’s Washburn Observatory, located on campus at 1401 Observatory Drive.
• On Thursday at 7 p.m., there will be a chemistry presentation by Bassam Shakhashiri called “Science is Fun!”