Annual astronomy festival returns to Science Center

Annual astronomy festival returns to Science Center


HICKORY — BoBfest: Regional Gathering of Amateur Astronomers returns to Catawba Science Center on Saturday, Jan. 28. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

BoBfest is free and open to the public. The event will feature keynote speakers, astrophotography displays, and door prizes. Vendors, exhibitors, and information about local events and facilities will be available, as well as the chance to engage with amateur and professional astronomers from the region. 

CSC staff and volunteers along with the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library will be heading up family activities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Activities will include crafts and experiments related to astronomy for children of all ages.

Attendees ranging from professional astronomers to those who simply have an interest in astronomy are welcome. Anyone looking into astronomy as a hobby is urged to come and ask questions of the more experienced astronomers.

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This year’s keynote speakers are Corrie Ann Delgado with her presentation, “Through the Eyes of the James Webb Space Telescope,” and Michael Rehnberg with his presentation “When Clear Skies Aren’t Enough: Weather Forecasting for Amateur Astronomers.”

There will also be afternoon forums with different speakers covering a range of topics from astrophotography to space radio, and how to get started in astronomy. In addition to the keynote speakers and various afternoon forums on astronomy topics, there will be solar observing available during lunch, weather permitting.

Tickets will be sold for a wide variety of door prizes for $1 per ticket. Door prizes range from astronomy materials and merchandise to telescopes, items from local businesses, and more.

While attending the event is free to the public, the money from the door prize donations will help fund the event.

Interested vendors or door prize donors may contact [email protected].

Everyone planning to attend is encouraged to pre-register online at

For a more detailed schedule of the events, visit Food trucks from the Hickory Sandwich Shop, Dig N Dogs, and Dipperz Mini Donuts will be on site during lunch break around 11:30 a.m. Special planetarium features, including children’s shows and laser shows, will be shown throughout the day in the Millholland Planetarium.

BoBfest is presented by the Cleveland County Astronomical Society, Catawba Science Center, and the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club.

Catawba Science Center is on the SALT Block, 243 Third Ave. NE, Hickory. Call 828-322-8169.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving North Carolina’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions include temporary exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and marine touch pool and live sharks and stingrays. Learn more at