INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF ASTRONOMY 2009 STAR PARTY AT THE WHITE HOUSE

NASA Science Mission Directorate organized a star gazing event at the White House on October 7, 2009, at the direction of the Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy, as a celebration of astronomy during the International Year of Astronomy 2009. President Obama and the First Family were joined by ~150 middle school students from Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia to peer through telescopes set up on the White House lawns and view celestial phenomena in portable planetaria. They also engaged in activities including scale models of the solar system, interacting with moon rocks and meteorites and modeling crater formation. Students had the opportunity to interact with NASA scientists and educators, NASA Administrator Bolden together with astronauts Buzz Aldrin, John Grunsfeld, Mae Jamison and Sally Ride. Watch a clip of the star party on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSgtXggeUKA

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