UMBC at Nighttime

Nighttime is a time to explore the universe

It’s easy in an academic environment to keep your head in a book or more likely, in front of a screen. The Astronomy Club asks you to look up. As you walk the paths of UMBC at night, looking for your next adventure, this club will help you find your place in the vast cosmos. 

“I would like taking walks at night around campus, it was very freeing—like the world was just for you,” says Tara O’Donnell ’24, physics. Despite loving the atmosphere of campus at night and the view of the stars and the moon, most of her UMBC life has been virtual. “Most of my experience was sitting in my room doing classes through Blackboard, so my opportunity to connect more fully with the UMBC community was through the Astronomy Club,” says O’Donnell. “I was so grateful to have that connection, so I volunteered to be the president this year.”

The observatory on top of the Physics building. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11.

Astronomy meetings range from discussing major space news like the Perseverance landing on Mars or making use of the telescope in the observatory on top of the Physics building to playing games like Jeopardy, watching movies, and hosting special guests and debates.

Courtesy of Astronomy Club Facebook

The debates cover everything from the current planet status of Pluto or which would be better to colonize, the Moon or Mars?—to silly musings about the universe. Amanda Hampton ’22, biochemistry, remembers a student begging to speak, only to have his whole speech be about how the moon is cheese, she laughs. The Astronomy Club is open-minded and relaxed, she shares, it simply consists of people who are interested in space. “You don’t have to have any understanding at all, you don’t even have to participate. You can just show up. It’s on your own terms whether you want to contribute or not,” Hampton says. 

Even in this past year, the Astronomy Club has maintained a thriving community, hosting late night Discord hangouts, talking about memes, pets, cool space pictures, and more. If you want to know how a big star becomes a black hole, then this club might be for you. Just don’t expect to find out about your astrology signs. 

What do you want to do next?

I want to get out some energy! Maybe play a fun game?

I am looking for a creative outlet like singing.

I am searching for a welcoming spiritual community.

Sleep.

*****

How to find the Astronomy Club: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/umbcastronomy/?fref=ts
myUMBC: https://my3.my.umbc.edu/groups/astro-club

Discover these clubs and many, many more at Involvement Fest September 9 and online all year.

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