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Astronomy and Astrophysics

Public Outreach

We have an active and extensive program of public outreach that promotes science literacy in a wide range of demographic groups. These outreach activities include public lectures, Road Scholar workshops, inservice workshops for K-12 teachers, planetarium shows for K-12 students, and department open houses and stargazing for members of the public.

Galaxy M101.
astronomy planetarium in Davey Lab

We offer planetarium shows year round to visiting K-12 classes and community groups.

telescope in Davey Lab

Weekly stargazing is sponsored by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Astronomy Club.


Field Trip Request

We offer shows year round to visiting K-12 classes and some community groups.

3d show


A four night festival of Astronomy held concurrently with the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

astrofest event

Friedman Lectures

Hosted by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and are primarily funded by the Ronald M. and Susan J. Friedman Outreach Fund in Astronomy.

an astronomy lecture

Teacher Workshops

The Penn State In-Service Workshops in Astronomy (PSIWA) for middle and high school science teachers.

A coed donned her solar eclipse glasses at the April 8, 2024 at Medlar Field.


Community science nights that focus on innovative, hands-on science activities led by collaborations between Penn State faculty and students, local school district administrators, teachers, and students.

Volunteers prepare model rockets for launch at the 2024 solar eclipse event Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Road Scholar

The Department has hosted a week-long learning adventure on astronomy every summer since 2007 for members of the public at ages 55 and over.

man using a large optical telescope

AstroFest Facebook

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics on Facebook