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Reaching for the Moon
Montréal, May 23, 2023 - 

Astronomy will be front and centre this June 3rd as Espace pour la vie brings back its annual Planétarium-focused event. This year, the team is going all out with crafts for all ages, an astrophotography exhibition, information booths, guided workshops and daytime Sun viewing and evening Moon viewing, complete with marshmallows. Face painting, demonstrations by the Throw2Catch circus troupe and a concert by the Urban Science Brass Band are also on the menu, and it’s all completely free of charge!
Hungry visitors will want to make a stop at the food bike or our on-site restaurant, Végo… maybe even our evening bar!

Two must-see events

Don't miss the Canadian Space Agency's demonstration of the lunar rover, an exploration vehicle designed to roam the surface of the Moon.
Then, in the evening, learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) with René Doyon, an astrophysicist and the principal investigator for the Canadian instruments aboard the JWST. Doyon, who is also the Director of the Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) and the Mont-Mégantic Observatory (OMM) at Université de Montréal, will give a captivating lecture on his experience at the heart of this groundbreaking project. His work recently earned him the title of Scientist of the Year from Radio-Canada, for a second time.
He will be accompanied by Nathalie Nguyen-Quoc Ouellette, the Outreach Scientist for the JWST, an astrophysicist and Deputy Director of the iREx and OMM at Université de Montréal, who will explain how the telescope reveals the hidden secrets of the cosmos. You can read more about their career paths here.


Small Step (s) | From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The AstroFest kicks off with a free lineup of activities for mini-astronauts!

  • Family-friendly room featuring geometrically shaped cushions for kid-suitable fun, changing tables and a nursing area
  • Face-painting (ages 3 and up)
  • Your last opportunity to catch a screening of Bébé symphonique!
  • Screenings at 9 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. | For kids up to 18 months old |Places are limited. Reserve soon*!
  • Find out what’s hiding in our own celestial backyard with Aboard the SSE-4801.
  • Screening at 10:45 a.m. | For children 5 to 8 | Places are limited. Reserve soon*!
    *Tickets available on May, 26th.

Orbit or Bust!| From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

With kiosks, crafts, an astrophotography exhibition, viewing of the Sun and lots more, it’s going to be an amazing day! Here are just a few of the activities taking place all day long:

  • The Eggstronaut by SIRIUS: You have about 20 minutes to create a spaceship that can land your egg safely, with no breakage, after a free fall. Fun for everyone!
  • Planétarium water pistol: Build your own water pistol powered by a bicycle pump. Laughter and splashes guaranteed!
  • Making a telescope isn’t as simple as you might think. Meet Optiques Fullum, which makes mirrors for telescopes all over the world.
  • Discover the best free astronomy apps and start exploring the night skies with Plateau Astro.
  • For more information, see the complete program.

Reaching for the Moon | From 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

  • Take part in our lively The Sky’s the Limit challenge to test your knowledge of astronomy with our quizmasters while you relax with a drink.
  • Lecture by René Doyon and Nathalie Nguyen-Quoc Ouellette on the James Webb Space Telescope in the Milky Way Theatre. The Chaos Theatre will be set up so that attendees can watch a live feed of the lecture while enjoying a drink.
  • Concert by the Urban Science Brass Band

Under the moonlight | From 9:30 p.m. to midnight

  • End the evening with some marshmallows while gazing at the moon by telescope. In case of rain, our interpreters will explore the sky with you indoors, in our theatres.

All AstroFest activities are free. However, standard prices apply for the Planetarium’s regular indoor shows.

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Espace pour la vie regroupe le Biodôme, la Biosphère, l’Insectarium, le Jardin botanique et le Planétarium. Ces cinq institutions prestigieuses de la Ville de Montréal forment le plus important complexe en sciences de la nature au Canada. Ensemble, elles amorcent un mouvement audacieux, créatif et urbain, où se repense le lien entre l’humain et la nature, et où se cultive une nouvelle façon de vivre.


Contact our team

Anne Bourgoin
Espace pour la vie
438 346-0542

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