UM-Dearborn will host “Summer Solstice” event as part of the International Year of Astronomy

May 29, 2009

DEARBORN / May 29, 2009---The University of Michigan-Dearborn will host a “Summer Solstice” event in June as part of the International Year of Astronomy, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first astronomical observation through a telescope.

“We’ll spend the ‘longest day of the year’ exploring the significance of the summer solstice to Neolithic cultures around the Earth as well as the property that was once Henry and Clara Ford's backyard,” said Carrie Swift, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, who is coordinating the event.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is titled "A Long Day's Journey into Night" and will be held from 7:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday, June 19.  Visitors may attend the entire event or choose select parts.  

Beginning at 7:30 p.m., participants will meet at the Environmental Interpretive Center for a guided walk through the UM-Dearborn Natural Areas.  Visitors can watch the sunset from the Henry Ford Estate terrace from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  Participants may visit the university’s Observatory for a tour between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and, weather permitting, take part in astronomical observations from 10 p.m. to midnight.

For more information, visit for a schedule of events at UM-Dearborn as well as Henry Ford Community College, or join the observatory’s mailing list by e-mailing




CONTACT: Jennifer Thelen
PHONE: 313-593-5644
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn