Events for the Public

The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian sponsors a variety of free programs for the public. Among these events are Observatory Nights held on the third Thursday of select months. Observatory Nights feature a nontechnical lecture intended for high-school age and older audiences but children are also welcome. We also sponsor a variety of other special observing events throughout the year. Admission is free.

These events will be held virtually until it is safe to meet in person.

For more information, including accessibility, or to sign up for the events mailing list, call the Public Affairs Office (617) 495-7461 or email

Astronauts book cover
Monthly Observatory Night
Thursday, October 15, 2020
7:00 pm: ASTRONAUTS: Women on the Final Frontier
Jim Ottaviani, Author, and Maris Wicks, Illustrator

The first person who will set foot on Mars is alive right now. We believe this, but even if we're wrong we know the first crew to arrive there will look nothing like the ones that landed on the Moon fifty years ago. Our world has changed for the better, and ASTRONAUTS tells the story of the women who built this better world. The main character and narrator is Mary Cleave, an astronaut you may not have heard of. It's not because so many people have been to space; only a few hundred have! It’s because this graphic novel isn’t about fame. No astronaut you'll ever meet took the job to get famous — it's adventure and science and wonder that drive them. Comics are ideal for bringing readers into the action, the sights, the sounds, and the feelings of discovering new worlds, and in this talk we'll tell you why!

Please register for this free, live-stream Zoom event at this link. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at