A Celebration at Lowell Observatory and Meteor Crater
Meteor Crater and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, set the stage for a fantastic Asteroid Day celebration. Flagstaff’s “Big Impact Event” will highlight the Meteor Crater, formed 50,000 years ago, representing the best preserved meteor impact site in the world.
Meteor Crater is 700 feet deep, more than an astronomical 4,000 feet across, and 2.4 miles in circumference.
Lowell Observatory, a 128-year-old astronomical observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, studies near-earth asteroids and has discovered roughly 30,000 asteroids and about 40 comets in our solar system.
The two organizations together will plan a one-day event complete with panels, speakers, food trucks, local beer, tours of both facilities, poi performances, and night-sky viewing.
11am - 5pm
Head to Meteor Crater to hear a special science talks about what would happen if a meteor were to strike earth, how we look for meteors, and a special Meteor Crater tour! Also enjoy face painting, food, and science demos.
5pm - 11pm
Grab some more food, drink Mother Road beer, participate in fun science demos, and hear from top Lowell researchers who work with NASA to defend our planet from potentially threatening asteroids and other space objects.
Professional face painters will be at Meteor Crater to add some cosmic flare to your face! Not just for kids—adults can get in on the fun too!
Meet an Astronomer
Stick around until 8pm at Lowell for a special Meet an Astronomer Q&A session with planetary scientist and stellar astronomer Dr. Brian Skiff, who has discovered thousands of asteroids!
Food trucks will be serving up tasty fare at both Meteor Crater and Lowell Observatory.
Restaurants and menus TBA.
Mother Road Brewery
Brewmasters from Flagstaff's legendary Mother Road Brewery (the minds behind Lowell Lager!) will be at Lowell Observatory to offer brews for purchase.*
* Must be 21+ and present a valid ID to consume or purchase alcohol.
Meteor Crater will be doing science demos so you can make your own crater, and at Lowell Observatory, you'll be able to make your own meteor! Don't miss these fun science demos for all ages.
Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy and Coconino County Supervisor Jeronimo Vasquez will be at Lowell Observatory, and Winslow Mayor Roberta “Birdie” Cano will be at Meteor Crater, to proclamate “Asteroid Day” as an officially recognized day!
Meteor Crater & Barringer Space Museum
Event 11am - 5pm, Talks 1pm - 4pm
Dr. Christoph Keller, Director of Science at Lowell Observatory, will host this session of presentations that look at the nature of asteroids, how scientists search for them, and their connection to Meteor Crater. The session will conclude with the story of how astronauts have trained for Moon missions at Meteor Crater and other areas around northern Arizona.
1pm | Things That Go Bump in the Night
☆ Audrey Martin, PhD Candidate/Graduate Research Assistant, Northern Arizona University
Earth is regularly bombarded by space debris. Where does this material come from, how does the impact of larger space rocks create features such as Meteor Crater, and what is the threat of such an event to life on Earth? Audrey will talk about all of this, as well as planetary defense and ways to prevent such impacts on Earth.
2 pm | Understanding Those “Vermin of the Night Sky”: A Conversation About the Discovery and Study of Asteroids
☆ Dr. David Trilling, Astronomy & Planetary Science Department Chair, Northern Arizona University | Melissa Sevigny, Science Reporter, KNAU Arizona Public Radio
For years, many astronomers called asteroids “Vermin of the Night Sky” because these diminutive bodies that littered certain areas of the solar system seemed to get in the way of studying more “interesting” celestial bodies. This view has changed, especially in light of the potential danger of such space rocks to Earth. KNAU Science Reporter will interview asteroid expert Dr. David Trilling about how astronomers use telescopes to discover and study near-Earth Asteroids, as well as some exciting upcoming opportunities to increase our knowledge and the protection of Earth.
3pm | Meteor Crater and the Moon
☆ Dr. Bill Sheehan, Astronomy Historian | Kevin Schindler, Historian, Lowell Observatory
Meteor Crater is analogous to impact craters on the Moon, making it an excellent place to learn more about our nearest celestial neighbor. In fact, every astronaut who walked on the Moon trained for their missions at Meteor Crater. This program will explore how scientists proved the impact origins of Meteor Crater, and then look at why astronauts past and present have visited Meteor Crater and other areas in northern Arizona in preparation for their Moon voyages
Event 5pm - 11pm, Talks 7pm - 10pm
Dr. Amanda Bosh, Chief Operating Officer and planetary scientist at Lowell Observatory, will host this session of programs that explores how scientists search for Earth-approaching space rocks and possible ways of protecting Earth from such impactors.
7pm: A Conversation about the Search for Earth Impacting Space Rocks
☆ Brian Skiff, Researcher, Lowell Observatory | Melissa Sevigny, Science Reporter | KNAU Arizona Public Radio
For the past two decades, scientists including Brian Skiff have searched the skies for celestial bodies that could one day impact Earth. In doing so, he has discovered hundreds of asteroids and comets. KNAU Science Reporter Melissa Sevigny will interview Brian about his exploration of the night sky, as well as other programs around the world that are searching for possible impactors.
8 pm: Keynote Presentation, Planetary Defense and NASA’s DART Mission
☆ Dr. Nick Moskovitz, Assistant Astronomer, Lowell Observatory
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is a NASA mission designed to test a technique for diverting a large space rock that would otherwise hit Earth. The test involves a spacecraft that will impact an asteroid this coming September. Dr. Moskovitz will speak about this mission and how he and other local scientists are involved.
9 p.m. Meet an Astronomer
☆ Brian Skiff, Researcher, Lowell Observatory
Brian Skiff will informally chat about all things astronomy to guests at Lowell Observatory’s Giovale Open Deck Observatory. Do you have a burning question about space? This is a perfect time to get it answered by one of the world’s leading experts on the night sky.
Join our mailing list for all the latest updates.
See you on June 30th!