Nature Night

@ MSU Observatory

Nov 17 2018 7--10pm

Thanks for a wonderful night!

We had a lot of fun and learned a lot---especially from our speaker, Prof. David Karowe. You can check out his content at the links below:

What is Nature Night?

An open house event, with activities spread between the Observatory and the Pavilion. We'll have hands-on activities about nature and astronomy, stargazing (if the weather is clear), and lectures by local leaders. Our goal is to celebrate our beautiful state of Michigan, our precious planet Earth, and the stunning Universe that surrounds us.

Who is Nature Night for? Everyone! We'll have activities that are appropriate for children and engaging for adults. All are welcome.

What does Nature Night cost? Nothing, it's free!


MSU Observatory

MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education

(The Observatory and Pavilion are separated by a large parking lot. For most attendees, it should be simple to walk between the sites. For those with mobility issues, it is possible to drive and park nearer each site.)

Events and Activities

Lecture: 7--8pm in the Pavilion Auditorium.

"Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region" by David Karowe, Professor of Biological Science (Western Michigan University).

A discussion of our state's natural beauty, how it may be affected by climate change, and positive steps we all can take to help protect Michigan and our Great Lakes. Will be of great interest to adults and older kids!

Stargazing: 7--10pm at the Observatory. Weather permitting.

Check out Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon, and deep sky objects with your own eyes, through our telescopes.

Live animals: 7--10pm in the Pavilion Classroom A

Learn about Michigan wildlife face-to-face with our friends from Howell Nature Center.

Renewable energy at MSU: 8:15, 8:45, and 9:15pm in Pavilion Classroom B

Solar panels are cropping up all over! Come learn about them and the MSU energy transition plan with Wolfgang Bauer, one of the project's leaders and University Distinguished Professor of Physics (Michigan State University). Prof. Bauer will give short presentations and there will be plenty of time for questions!

Inflatable planetarium: 8--10pm in the Pavilion Auditorium

Regardless of the weather, you can learn about the night sky in our inflatable planetarium.

Hands-on astronomy activities! 7--10pm at the MSU Observatory

Learn about our solar system's planets and planets around other stars! Learn what it takes for a planet to host life!

What can I do about climate change? 8--10pm in the Pavilion Auditorium

Come learn about creative solutions from community partners!

What can we learn face-to-face with birds? 8--10pm in the Pavilion Auditorium

Learn how and why the Burke Lake Banding Station bands birds, and how you can join the fun!

Scavenger Hunt! Pick yours up in the Pavilion atrium or Observatory foyer.

Win a prize by visiting all of our Nature Night activities!


Does Nature Night depend on the weather? We'll be open regardless of clouds, rain, or clear skies, with lots of fun and educational activities. However, we'll only be able to observe the stars and planets with telescopes if it is clear.

Is Nature Night accessible to people with disabilities? Most activities will be. However, observing on the 24 inch telescope requires climbing the stairs at the Observatory. If it is clear weather and we are able to observe, we'll have smaller telescopes outside on the lawn that will be accessible.