Young Astronomers To Gather at the Smithsonian for National Youth Summit

Students Will Host a Public Presentation Featuring Their Astronomical Photos
February 9, 2017
News Release

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Kid using camera on a tripod

Smithsonian Affiliations has announced the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos Youth Summit in Washington, D.C., Feb. 22–23. The Summit’s astro-photographers, ages 10–14, are past participants in the Smithsonian’s Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program held at 13 Smithsonian Affiliate organizations across the nation throughout the past year. Participants used an online portal to control real robotic telescopes at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory sites in Cambridge, Mass., and Amado, Ariz. Using the same tools, technologies and techniques as professional astronomers, the children observed planets, stars and galaxies; analyzed and enhanced their astronomical images with scientific software; and designed their own robotic telescope components.

While in Washington, the youth astronomers will share with the public the multidisciplinary knowledge they have gained from Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m., the students will host a poster presentation at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, featuring the astronomical images they have captured and processed. The presentation will be followed by a live session, “How to Control a Telescope & Create a Colorful Cosmic Image.”

The Youth Summit will also hold events to broaden the students’ understanding of science, technology and innovation, including programming at the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. On Thursday, Feb. 23, select participants will join a forum of Smithsonian educators to learn about their love of space and discover how technology can enhance access to Smithsonian learning experiences.

Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos is supported by the Smithsonian’s Youth Access Grants program managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access. The program is a product of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in partnership with Smithsonian Affiliations, and includes participation in YouthAstroNet, a digital network of youth interested in astronomy funded by the National Science Foundation.

About Smithsonian Affiliations

Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. More information is available at

About the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe. More information is available at

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