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Sally's Night


The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is partnering with the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum as the local host for Sally's Night, which is a national celebration of the first American woman in space: Dr. Sally Ride. This commemorative event on Thursday, June 20 at the Museum will celebrate New Mexico women in space science.

To showcase New Mexico women in space, there will be a showing of the classic sci-fi film Contact (1997) in the Museum Planetarium, Powered by META, as part of the museum’s Science Fiction or Fact? Film Series.Contact highlights the amazing Very Large Array (VLA) located west of Magdalena, NM, and the search for life beyond our planet. This sci-fi movie with a strong female lead dovetails with the museum’s current temporary exhibit Sci-Fi & Sci-Fact, which presents stories of scientific advancement alongside a number of costumes and props from popular science fiction stories.

Before the movie, two special guests will review the film for scientific and historical accuracies and inaccuracies in an open forum style that encourages audience participation. From 5:30 to 6:00 pm, the museum will host Dr. Julia Blue Bird (Oglala Lakota), Radio Astronomer and NRAO/VLA “Jansky Fellow;” and Judy Stanley, a retired VLA Space Science Educator, will tell us about the real science done at the VLA and stories about the filming of Contact. The screening will begin at 6:00 pm.

This project received support from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.