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Public Outreach


Example screen shot of online "virtual lobby" for AstroFest 2020, a game-like browser applet linking to presentations, mini-games, and information.

AstroFest goes online!

Try our new video-game portal to AstroFest2020's online presentations and activities.  It runs in your computer's web browser; you may also need to disable pop-up blockers while using the site (unavailable on mobile devices).

Welcome to our AstroFest 2020 Virtual World!

Click here to enter our "virtual lobby" — live now! Please give the program a moment to load.

You will need to use your computer rather than a mobile device.
Or see the more traditional program, below.

Our program includes presentations, virtual telescope viewing, demonstrations, virtual planetarium shows, and explorations of our video game virtual world we use for teaching astronomy general education classes at Penn State.

Most of the presentations and activities will remain available to the public after the event.  Please browse the program sections, below, for links to presentation recordings and games.


Since 1999, Penn State Astronomy students, faculty, and friends have been inviting the public to Davey Lab for AstroFest, a four night festival of Astronomy held concurrently with the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  AstroFest features many exciting activities, talks, and presentations, including stargazing through the telescopes on the roof of Davey Lab.

AstroFest Facebook

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics on Facebook

2020 Presentations and Activities

(schedule subject to change)

Recorded presentations always available.


Planetarium Show
— presentation by Kim Herrmann


Virtual Reality Tour of PSU Rocket Lab
— presentation by the McEntaffer Group at Penn State


Dark Energy: Einstein's Greatest Blunder
— presentation by Donghui Jeong


Telling the Story of Life in the Cosmos with the Space Telescope of the Future
— presentation by Rebekah Dawson


Cosmic Explosions
— presentation by Mike Siegel


— presentation by Eric Ford


Planets, planets, everywhere!
— presentation by Eric Feigelson


Is Pluto a Planet?
— presentation by Chris Palma


Is There Life On Other Planets? How Do We Look For It?
— presentation by Jason Wright


Life in the Universe
— presentation by Kim Herrmann


Orbital Rocketry Using Kerbal Space Program
— presentation by Steve Kerby


Planetary Nebulae in Spiral Galaxies: Shedding some Light on Dark Matter
— presentation by Kim Herrmann


Planets, planets, everywhere!
— presentation by Eric Feigelson


Going to the Moon with the Kerbal Space Program
— presentation by Michael Rodruck

Recorded presentations always available


Scale of Solar System with toilet paper
— presentation by Rebekah Dawson


Zodiac Signs and Astronomy vs. Astrology
— presentation by Kim Herrmann


Stellarium Starlores
— presentation by Kim Herrmann


Dark Energy Song
— original song by Ariana Dove


Why Stars Twinkle
— presentation by Michael Rodruck


Meet Joe Masiero: a PSU Astro alumnus’ story
— presentation by Joe Masiero


#BlackInAstro:  The Work and Experiences of Black Astronomers
— presentation by Michael Palumbo


Origin of Cosmic Web Filaments
— presentation by Joe Ninan


How to Make a Habitable Planet
— presentation by Evan Sneed


Mercedes Richards:  A Great Professor and Human
— presentation by Jane Charlton