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Starry, Starry Night: A Night of Stargazing, Art, & Science

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the night sky and telescope technology with local astronomers, encounter nocturnal animals, and listen to a special “starry night” themed Carillion concert. We are excited to welcome esteemed astronaut Nicole Stott to the gardens for a keynote presentation on space flight and art. She will be signing her book following the presentation!

Event Date & Time

Friday, December 16th, 2022
4:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Oval Lawn Speaker Schedule:
Derek Demeter: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Robert Vogel aka “Sky Bob”: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott: 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (She will be signing her book following her presentation)


Campus Wide


Free with Admission
No registration required

Come early and enjoy solar scopes on the Oval Lawn from 12 p.m. to sunset. Astronomers with telescopes will be on the El Retiro Lawn starting at sunset until 9:30 p.m., Nocturnal Animals encounters at the Alexander Discovery Center from 5-8 p.m., and a live Carillon concert by Geert D’Hollander at 4:30 p.m. Stop by the Outdoor Kitchen for a Van Gogh Art Exhibit including art you can make and take. Join The Lake Wales Arts Council for this out-of-this-world art activity from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m (while suppies last).

More About Our Speakers:

Derek Demeter: Oval Lawn Stage – 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Ever since Derek could remember, he has been looking to the stars. This constant fascination with astronomy gave him the inspiration he needed to soar through the many stellar journeys he has experienced throughout his life. While a student finishing his degrees in Physics and Technical Education he landed a position at the Seminole State College Planetarium in Sanford, Florida. Over much of the last decade, his passion for teaching people about the wonders of the universe has earned him accolades and recognition from the planetarium industry, his peers, and the community. He now works hard presenting programs to both the community at large and to students of all ages. Derek also promotes science beyond the planetarium with his appearances at many other venues such as the Harmony Dark Sky Festival, Cafe Science of Orlando, local libraries, the Central Florida Astronomical Society, and simply setting up a telescope at local shopping centers to give the public a truly “out-of-this world” experience.

Robert Vogel aka “Sky Bob”: Oval Lawn Stage – 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Presentation: “How the Constellations Came to Be”

Creator of Naked–Eye Astronomy
Naked Astronomy brings the science of astronomy and the pleasure of stargazing to the general public. This includes aesthetics, history, art and mythology. Classes include an overview of observational astronomy, seasonal star tours, history of the constellations, and updates on current space missions.

Nicole Stott: Oval Lawn Stage – 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Nicole will be signing her book Back to Earth: What Life in Space Taught Me About Our Home Planet―And Our Mission to Protect It immediately following her presentation

Nicole is an astronaut, aquanaut, artist, mom, and now author of her first book Back to Earth ~ What Life In Space Taught Me About Our Home Planet – And Our Mission To Protect It. She creatively combines the awe and wonder of her spaceflight experience with her artwork to inspire everyone’s appreciation of our role as crewmates here on Spaceship Earth.

She is a veteran NASA Astronaut with two spaceflights and 104 days as a crewmember on both the International Space Station (ISS) and the Space Shuttle. Personal highlights of her time in space include performing a spacewalk (10th woman to do so), flying the robotic arm to capture the first free-flying HTV, painting a watercolor (now on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum), working with her international crew on science that is all about improving life on Earth, and of course the life-changing view of our home planet. She is also a NASA Aquanaut. In preparation for spaceflight, she was a crew member on an 18-day saturation dive mission at the Aquarius undersea laboratory.

Nicole believes that the international model of peaceful and successful cooperation we have experienced in the extreme environments of space and sea holds the key to the same kind of peaceful and successful cooperation for all of humanity here on Earth.


Please Note:

Ticket price includes general admission to the Gardens. Tickets are available for purchase at www.boktower.org, in person at the Visitor Center or by phone at 863-734-1222. All programs and classes promptly begin at stated time and visitors are encouraged to arrive at least 10 minutes before class begins for check-in. Check-in begins 30 minutes prior to the class start time. Culinary events are demonstration based and late arrivals may not be accommodated. For classes held after 5 pm, the entrance gate will stay open for an additional 30 minutes after the start time. Once the gate closes, late arrivals will not be admitted. Due to the nature of culinary events held at the Outdoor Kitchen, Bok Tower Garden may attempt, but cannot guarantee, to accommodate food allergies. Dogs are not permitted at any educational program.