After Dark: Nocturnal

Thursday, February 5, 2015 • 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

Exploratorium, Pier 15

$15 General; $10 Members; Free for Lab Members

Adults Only (18+)

Note: A ticket to Thursday evening adult-only hours does not guarantee admission to special programs with limited seating. Tickets for limited-capacity programs will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.

Join us to explore the night—see and better understand what lurks there in the dark.

Matt Walker will share remarkable new discoveries about the third of our lives we spend asleep. The Sidewalk Astronomers will give us a peek into the night sky. And Anna Franckowiak will talk about the search for the ghostly neutrino particles at the South Pole.

Ryosuke Motani will reveal how tens of millions of years after dinosaurs became extinct, he and Lars Schmitz figured out which were nocturnal. Alex Levy and Epilogue Media invite you to experience the Tactile Dome through a Sound-Tacular nighttime soundscape. And a group of neuroscientists, game designers, educators, and artists will equip you to control your brain when you’re on the edge of sleep.

While pianists Sarah Cahill, Jerry Kuderna, and Eric Tran perform music inspired by the night, meet four (mostly) nocturnal wild creatures or learn how to make and use a celestial stardial. Find out about lunar rainbows, why animals’ eyes glow, and why pirates wear eye patches. Explore the inside of your eyes and plankton species that are active at night, and venture into the underground habitats of the the burrowing owl, the prairie vole, and swift fox watching Sam Easterson's short film Burrow-Cams.


Download Program (pdf)


With Alex Levy and Epilogue Media
Separate admission with timed tickets
6:15, 7:00, 7:45, 8:30, and 9:15 p.m.
Tactile Dome

Secrets of the Sleeping Brain
With Matt Walker  
7:00 p.m.
Kanbar Forum

Search for Ghost Particles at the South Pole
With Anna Franckowiak
8:00 p.m. 
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio 

Dinosaurs Being Nocturnal
With Ryosuke Motani
9:00 p.m.
Kanbar Forum

With Sarah Cahill, Jerry Kuderna, and
Eric Tran

6:30–9:30 p.m.
East Gallery

Moonlight Safari: Nocturnal Animals
With Classroom Safari
6:00–10:00 p.m.
Bay Observatory Gallery 

Sidewalk Astronomy
With the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Bay Observatory Terrace

Cognitive Technologies: Experiments in Creating Tools
to Understand and Extend the Human Mind

With Cognitive Technology and m0xy
6:00–10:00 p.m.
West Gallery, Black Box

Here’s Looking at You
With the Field Trip Explainers
7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m.
East Gallery Explainer Station


How to See in the Dark
With Julie Yu and Hilleary Osheroff
7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m.
Central Gallery Classrooms 

Plankton Light Traps
With Exploratorium Biologists Denise King, Caitlin Johnson, 
and Maggie McCann, and Tinkering Studio Staff
6:30–9:30 p.m. or while supplies last
South Gallery, Tinkering Studio

With the Explainers
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Central Gallery

Celestial Stardial
With the Explorables
7:00–10:00 p.m.
Bay Observatory Gallery 

Heat Camera Dark Room
With Erik Thogersen and Sebastian Martin
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Central Gallery

Heat Camera Activities 
With the Explainers
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Central Corridor

Monochromatic Activities 
With the Explainers
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Central Gallery

Dilated in the Dark
With Amy Snyder
6:30–9:00 p.m.
West Gallery


By Sam Easterson (2012, 3 min.)  
6:00–10:00 p.m.
East Gallery

Sign Up for our After Dark Email List.

Questions? E-mail us.

Image credit: Sam Easterson