Featured Events Spotlight

December 17, 2016
The 11th Annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl will once again be played on the first day of the college football bowl season.
Through December 30, 2016
Experience millions of glowing, sparkling lights and over 150 dazzling light displays, animated sculptures and synchronized music light show at New Mexico’s largest walk-through holiday production. Closed December 24 and 25.
Through December 31, 2016
New Mexico's largest city observes the holiday season with notable style and festivities. Take part in the holiday celebration with coupons, centuries-old traditions and numerous events that offer something for everyone.
Through January 7, 2017
In celebration of our 10th anniversary, 516 ARTS presents DECADE, a group exhibition and series of off-site projects that draw from the diverse local, national and international artists we have worked with since we opened. This exhibition explores a wide variety of themes and practices that 516 ARTS has explored since its inception.
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Event Details

Exhibition: The Hall of the Stars

The Hall of the Stars aims to explain how the night sky is organized. Though the project had some effort from museum employees, it was almost entirely accomplished by museum volunteers and members the professional astronomical community. This exhibit encourages visitors to explore the sky at their own pace and learn many different astronomical concepts, from the changing of the seasons to types of deep sky objects that they can see from their own backyards.

Rather than just showing the sky visible on any given night of the year, the Hall of the Stars allows visitors to see all of the year's stars and constellations in the same way that a world map allows them to visualize the whole globe. The most prominent 39 constellations are quilted onto the tapestry with UV-reactive thread. By also including the celestial equator and the ecliptic, or the path that the sun takes through the sky, the map demonstrates the changing of the seasons.

The 1,100 commonly-visible stars in the northern night sky are represented by individual LEDs. 358 of these represent the brightest stars of the night sky and are controlled by a program running on the interactive touch screen. The LEDs come in various color temperatures in order to demonstrate the variability of colors and brightness among stars. 110 LEDs represent Messier Objects, which are a collection of famous deep sky objects, including the Pleiades and the Orion Nebula. These LEDs are green in order to differentiate them from the stars.

The user interface presents information about the tapestry in an intuitive, layered format. Using it, people can either explore the constellations and stars of the night sky or Messier Objects.