Embark on a cosmic journey with us this First Friday, as we delve into the mesmerizing realms of astronomy and space—and the captivating history of our cosmic understanding.

Join our celestial celebration and discover the “spheres of influence,” where planets, orbits, stars, and moons collide with the forces of gravity, societal pressures, norms, and education. Witness captivating science spectacles that have shaped our understanding of the universe—and meet the people behind these famous experiments that have left an indelible mark on the history of astronomy. 

Immerse yourself in the tools of the trade with a hands-on collection featuring spectroscopes, telescopes, diffraction glasses, and unique celestial globes, astrolabes, and armillary globes. Touch, feel, and discover the instruments that paved the way for celestial revelations. And hear from a LightSound device, which converts light into sound so that blindness is no longer a barrier to the experience of astronomy.

You’ll also explore star charts, marginalia, and more in our historical library collections related to revolutionary advancements in astronomy.

Engage your creative side as you craft your personalized star charts. What celestial wonders will you map in the night sky? The possibilities are as vast as the cosmos itself! And don’t forget to take home a special gift: your very own solar eclipse glasses!

Be prepared for the celestial event of the season. Join us as we gear up for the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, and witness the cosmic dance in the sky. 

Don’t miss this stellar experience!

About First Fridays

Spark your curiosity while exploring the exhibits after hours! First Fridays bring together a myriad of activities covering everyday science, historical oddities, and everything in between. Grab your friends, and kick off an evening of discovery, surprise, and a little nerdy fun.

First Fridays at the Institute are always free and open to the public. Attendees will receive a 10% discount to National Mechanics restaurant.

More events

Illustration of medicinal plants
July 20, 2024
For Families

Stories of Science

Join us in our museum EVERY SATURDAY for a family-friendly program that highlights strange and surprising stories from the history of science!

Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris wearing eclipse glasses in a dark studio
July 24, 2024

Musical Alchemy: Charming Disaster and Thomas Little

The Science History Institute invites you to a magical evening of music and mystery, featuring goth-folk duo Charming Disaster and “modern alchemist” Thomas Little!

Ad for L’Insectoline
July 27, 2024

Science & Activism Tour

From Rachel Carson to ACT UP, explore how scientists and activists have shaped discovery and created change.


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