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National Stargazing Days 2016

When:Fr 11-03-2016 18:00 - 23:00
Where:Blaauw Observatory

Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12, the Blaauw Observatory of the University of Groningen will be open for young and old during the 40th National Stargazing Days. Reserve tickets

This event is organized by the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute and SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, in cooperation with the Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy (KNVWS), the Dutch Youth Association for Astronomy (JWG) and Science LinX.

Theme "Planet X: a 9th planet?"

Recently the news made headlines with "Solid evidence for ninth planet in solar system". The mysterieus planet X has not actually been spotted, but according to astronomers it would be about 10x heavier than the Earth and located far from the known planets, orbiting 20 times further from the Sun than Neptune. What is this theory based on, and could this ninth planet really exist?

Dr. Migo Mueller (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, RUG) will explain this theory and how it predicts a ninth planet. And guest lecturer Jeffrey Bout will give a children's lecture on the exploration of our solar system, from nearby to the farthest outer regions.


We will go stargazing in the observatory, if weather permits, and there will be various activities with the theme "Planet X: a 9th planet?" This is the program, for both days:

  • Guided tours Blaauw Observatory, with stargazing (if weather permits, or otherwise images of the universe taken by the Gratama Telescope) (English tour at 20:00)
  • 19:00 Children's lecture Jeffrey Bout: Op reis door het zonnestelsel
  • 20:00 Lecture Migo Mueller (Kapteyn Instituut, RUG): Hoeveel planeten zijn er?
  • Films in Kapteyn mobile planetarium: Extrasolar Planets – Discovering new worlds (English show at 19:00)
  • Exhibit Science LinX
  • Children's program 18:00 - 21:00 (6 to 12 years old): Game Planetenslag, solar system puzzle, experiments formation solar system

For more information (Dutch), see

Sign up

These public nights will take place in the Bernoulliborg, Nijenborgh 9, Groningen (Building V on the Zernike Campus). On both days the observatory will be open from 18:00 to 23:00. Admission is free for all activities. You can join the Facebook event for the latest news. Signing up is not required, but it is recommended. Tickets can be reserved here. For questions about this event you can refer to Marlies van de Weijgaert or sterrenwacht(at)astro(punt)rug(punt)nl.

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