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McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center Expands Hours, Opens Observatory for Winter Vacation



(Concord, NH) The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is open from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 1:30 - 4 p.m. every day for Winter Vacation, from Friday, February 18 through Sunday, March 6.  Each day, visitors will be able to choose from four different planetarium shows, explore science galleries, engage in science and engineering activities - and just in time for vacation, the Discovery Center has reopened its observatory.


The Discovery Center Observatory has a 360-degree dome that can open to any direction in the sky where the most interesting view can be found. For Winter Vacation, that will be wherever the sun is: As the sun approaches solar maximum (three years from now in the sun’s eleven year cycle), the sun has become increasingly active. On clear days, Discovery Center visitors stand a good chance of viewing sunspots through the Center’s 14” Celestron Astronomical Telescope, and solar prominences through the Center’s Lund Solar Telescope. When the sky is overcast, the Observatory will not be open to the sky, but visitors are still welcome to check out the Observatory’s set-up and equipment.

For children, teens and adults who need a Covid-19 first, second or booster shot, the State of New Hampshire’s Mobile Vaccine Clinic will set up in the Discovery Center’s Unitil Room from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2. The vaccines are free, and admission to the Discovery Center is not required in order to receive a vaccine. 

Dedicated to New Hampshire space pioneers Alan Shepard and Christa McAuliffe, the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center features 21st century interactive exhibits on astronomy, aviation, Earth and space sciences, an all-digital, full-dome planetarium and a wide variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. The engaging, robust educational programs are geared towards families, teens, seniors, students, community groups and lifelong learners. For more information, visit www.starhop.com


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