Concord's McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center will host a belated 30th birthday celebration for the Hubble Space Telescope on Saturday, September 25 at 11 a.m., to recognize three decades of amazing images and discoveries from this space telescope. Attendees can make star finders, vote for their favorite Hubble image, toast the telescope with cupcakes, and take home telescope image lithographs. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center will also unveil a banner-sized version of the 30th Anniversary Image awarded to the Discovery Center by the Space Telescope Science Institute in a national competition. This event, which does not include admission to the exhibit galleries or planetarium, is free; donations are welcome, masks are required for everyone over two years old.
The anniversary image is of nebulas NGC 2014 and NGC 2020, two star-forming regions in the Large Magellanic Cloud which together form what astronomers have termed the “Cosmic Reef”. The Hubble’s actual birthday was April 24, 2020, but in-person festivities were postponed nationwide due to COVID-19. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center held a Facebook Live event on Hubble’s actual birthday, including the history of the telescope and at-home science activities for viewers. To ensure public safety, the September 25th birthday party will include sanitation stations and social distancing.
The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center features 21st century interactive exhibits on aviation, astronomy, Earth and space sciences, an all-digital, full-dome planetarium and a wide variety of science, technology, and engineering and mathematics programs. The engaging, robust educational programs are geared towards families, teens, seniors, students, community groups and lifelong learners. It is currently open to the public Friday- Sunday and some holidays. For more information, visit www.starhop.com.