Schedules

The StarLight Festival has something for everyone! You'll learn from and meet scientists and astronomers, and get hands on with exhibitors, and learn about the science of astronomy and flight as we celebrate the 150th Birthday Anniversary of the founder of Yerkes Observatory, George Ellery Hale.

Here is what is in store at this free to the public event celebration:

Festival Hours

The StarLight Festival opens at 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on May 26th and 27th, 2018.

Parking

Parking opens at 9:00 a.m. There are both free and paid parking options. 

Shuttles from free parking areas begin running at 9:15 a.m. and run until 9:30 p.m. each day. See the Location and Parking page for more details. 

Star Party Telescope Viewing on the North Lawn

8:30 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. (weather permitting)

Saturday May 26th, 2018

Featured Speakers - Main Tent

10:00 a.m. Dr. Linda Spilker NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA "The Secrets of Saturn"

11:00 a.m. Dr. Seth Shostak SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA "The Search for Extraterrestrial Life"

12:00 p.m. Marcia Bartusiak Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA "The Day We Found the Universe"

1:00 p.m. Samuel D. Hale Mount Wilson Observatory, Pasadena, CA "The Legacy of George Ellery Hale"

2:00 p.m. Michael E. Bakich Astronomy Magazine, Waukesha, WI "Star Death"

3:00 p.m. Dr. Linda Spilker NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA "The Secrets of Saturn"

4:00 p.m. Dr. Seth Shostak SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA "The Search for Extraterrestrial Life"

5:00 p.m. Marcia Bartusiak Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA "The Day We Found the Universe"

6:00 p.m. Samuel D. Hale Mount Wilson Observatory, Pasadena, CA "The Legacy of George Ellery Hale"

7:00 p.m. Michael E. Bakich Astronomy Magazine, Waukesha, WI "Star Death"

The STEM Zone

11:00 a.m. Mr. Freeze Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL "The Wonders of Cryogenics" 
12:00 p.m. Dr. Mike Reynolds NASA's Teacher in Space - Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College

1:00 p.m. Mr. Freeze Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL "The Wonders of Cryogenics" 

2:00 p.m. Dr. Mike Reynolds NASA's Teacher in Space - Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College

3:00 p.m. Mr. Freeze Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL "The Wonders of Cryogenics" 

4:00 p.m. Dr. Mike Reynolds NASA's Teacher in Space - Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College

6:00 p.m. Dr. Mike Reynolds NASA's Teacher in Space - Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College

StarLight Takes Flight

11:30 a.m. Fly Drones with Yerkes Educational Outreach

12:00 p.m. W.O.O.S.H. Spacemodel Rocketry Launches

12:30 p.m. Fly Drones with Yerkes Educational Outreach

2:00 p.m. W.O.O.S.H. Spacemodel Rocketry Launches

2:30 p.m. Fly Drones with Yerkes Educational Outreach

4:00 p.m. W.O.O.S.H. Spacemodel Rocketry Launches

4:30 p.m. Fly Drones with Yerkes Educational Outreach

6:00 p.m. Lake Geneva Hot Air Ballooning

StarLight Arts

Experience the amazing space art of Carlos Hernandez.

Yerkes Observatory Open House

Walk through the historic Yerkes Observatory facility during "Open House" hours from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for the open house experience, however, there are Guided Tours available for a nominal charge.

StarGazing on the Yerkes North Lawn 

Get hands-on with the latest telescopes and experience the stars with your own eyes. Telescopes will point skyward from 8:30 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. weather permitting. 

Observing with the Yerkes Observatory Telescopes

A limited number of tickets for observing with the large telescopes of Yerkes Observatory will be sold only at the Starlight Festival. The observing session will start at 8:30 p.m. until Midnight, weather permitting. 

Sunday May 27th, 2018

Featured Speakers - Main Tent

10:00 a.m. Dr. Linda Spilker NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA "The Secrets of Saturn"

11:00 a.m. Dr. Seth Shostak SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA "The Search for Extraterrestrial Life"

12:00 p.m. Marcia Bartusiak Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA "The Day We Found the Universe"

1:00 p.m. Pranvera Hyseni Astronomy Outreach of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo "Little Things Make a Big Difference"

2:00 p.m. Ben Palmer FirstLight Outreach, New York "Celestial Cyberspace: Astronomy, Virtual Outreach, and the Modern World

3:00 p.m. TBA

4:00 p.m. Dr. Seth Shostak SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA "The Search for Extraterrestrial Life" 

5:00 p.m. Marcia Bartusiak Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA "The Day We Found the Universe"

6:00 p.m. Pranvera Hyseni Astronomy Outreach of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo "Little Things Make a Big Difference"

7:00 p.m. Ben Palmer FirstLight Outreach, New York "Celestial Cyberspace: Astronomy, Virtual Outreach, and the Modern World

STEAM Zone

11:00 a.m. Mr. Freeze Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL "The Wonders of Cryogenics" 

12:00 p.m. Dr. Mike Reynolds NASA's Teacher in Space - Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College

1:00 p.m. Mr. Freeze Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL "The Wonders of Cryogenics" 

2:00 p.m. Dr. Mike Reynolds NASA's Teacher in Space - Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College

3:00 p.m. Mr. Freeze Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL "The Wonders of Cryogenics" 

4:00 p.m. Dr. Mike Reynolds NASA's Teacher in Space - Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College

6:00 p.m. Dr. Mike Reynolds NASA's Teacher in Space - Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College

StarLight Takes Flight

11:30 a.m. YEO Drones

12:00 p.m. W.O.O.S.H. Rocketry Demonstrations

12:30 p.m. YEO Drones

2:00 p.m. W.O.O.S.H.  Rocketry Demonstrations

2:30 p.m. YEO Drones

4:00 p.m. W.O.O.S.H.  Rocketry Demonstrations

4:30 p.m. YEO Drones

6:00 p.m. Lake Geneva Hot Air Ballooning

StarLight Arts

Experience the amazing space art of Carlos Hernandez.

Yerkes Observatory Open House

Walk through the historic Yerkes Observatory facility during "Open House" hours from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for the open house experience, however, there are Guided Tours available for a nominal charge.

StarGazing on the Yerkes North Lawn 

Get hands-on with the latest telescopes and experience the stars with your own eyes. Telescopes will point skyward from 8:30 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. weather permitting. 

Observing with the Yerkes Observatory Telescopes

A limited number of tickets for observing with the large telescopes of Yerkes Observatory will be sold only at the Starlight Festival. The observing session will start at 8:30 p.m. until Midnight, weather permitting. 

Please Note:  To read more about these speakers, visit the Speakers section and scroll down to the person of interest.  All of these talks & presentations are free, and will take place on the Yerkes Observatory Grounds. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Enjoy!