Astronomy Day is a movement designed to share the pleasure of astronomy with the normal people. It’s an annual event which helps in bringing Astronomy to the People. On this Day, thousands of people get the opportunity to look through a telescope and interact with various professionals, astronomers, groups and astronomy enthusiasts.
The event was started by Doug Berger, the president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California, in 1973. His intention was to set up various telescopes in different locations like street corners, shopping malls and parks, etc. So that passersby could enjoy fabulous views of the heavens. Since then the event has popularized and is now sponsored by a number of astronomical organizations around the world.
Astronomy Week was organized to give sponsoring organizations a period of time to host special events. Groups may host events on Spring or Fall Astronomy Day or on both dates. Spring Astronomy Day occurs between mid April and mid May on a Saturday close to or before the 1st quarter Moon. Fall Astronomy Day occurs between mid September and mid October. The Astronomy Day this year is on 25th April 2016.
Many countries host Astronomy Day activities, these are USA, England, Canada, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, Philippines, Argentina, Malaysia and many more. Activities include talks and discussions by astronauts and astronomers, display of Moon rocks and Moon gravity simulator, models of the solar system, outdoor observing during day and night time with a telescope, different games are organized and prize distribution, etc.