EU planetarium preps for new semester

Category:  The Arts
Friday, September 20th, 2019 at 11:11 AM

Join the Edinboro Planetarium to boldly go where no one has gone before.

The Edinboro University fall 2019 planetarium schedule has been released. This year, from early September to the middle of December, the planetarium is offering shows for students and community members alike, led by Dr. David Hurd, the venue’s director.

Hurd works closely with the student organization Cooper Hall Ambassadors of Science (CHAOS) in order to develop a program each year, attempting to give those at Edinboro a chance to learn about the sky we live under.

“The planetarium serves as a means to highlight certain astronomical events,” he said.

Hurd has helped to plan many seasons for the planetarium, and he says he never ceases to find new material.

“I really like the programs that highlight a specific astronomical event. For example, we have a transit of Mercury coming up.”

On Sept. 17 and Nov. 19, both at 6 p.m., there will be a show specifically designed for children ages 1-12. This show, called “World at Night,” will introduce kids to the different nocturnal wildlife found at Presque Isle State Park.

On Sept. 23 at 7 p.m., the planetarium will be hosting the “Equinox Show.” This event celebrates the beginning of fall and will be an informational program about what happens on the autumnal equinox (along with why the seasons occur).

The planetarium offers stress-relieving programs in addition to its informative ones. On both Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. and Nov. 25 at 6 and 7:30 p.m., they will have a program titled “Laser Fun,” where students and community members can come together and enjoy their favorite songs put to a laser show.

Then, with their show “What’s Up Wednesday,” the planetarium is here to take its viewers out of this world. This event is meant to show those who are interested the different constellations that are visible near ‘Boro. This show takes place on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.

On Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m., the planetarium is offering everyone the chance to listen to their favorite Beatles’ songs put to a laser show. Called “Abbey Road,” this show features their album and is for music lovers everywhere.

The planetarium is also offering outside programs this year. On Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., if the weather holds out, the planetarium is hosting a stargazing event at Erie Bluffs State Park. Dress warmly if you plan on attending.

Meanwhile, if you enjoy Greek mythology, this year’s “Legends of the Night Sky” will most likely be an event of interest to you. On Oct. 30 at 7 p.m., the planetarium will tell the tale of Andromeda.

On Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., the planetarium is hosting the “Transit Show.” This event explains what occurs when Mercury lines up in front of the sun in something called a transit. The actual event occurs on Nov. 11, but the planetarium is presenting the informational program a few days before. On the day of the actual event, they invite everyone to join them in the parking lot from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This year, they’re also continuing to offer the annual “Star of Wonder” Christmas special on Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. and 7:30, as well as on Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. This show explains why we celebrate winter when we do, why Christians celebrate Christ’s birth on Dec. 25, why Santa goes south for the winter, and more. The Christmas show tends to be a crowd favorite, so Hurd encourages attendees to reserve tickets well in advance.

All shows will be held in Cooper Science Center Room 169. Weather pending, each show will be followed by a public viewing in the Edinboro Observatory.

Hurd explained that “the heart of the planetarium is the star projector” and that they aim to give viewers a clear picture of what’s above them. This is a sky without pollution or other obstacles.

“For most people, we’ve kind of lost that with cities and expansion. And so, the planetarium always allows our visitors to get out underneath the sky, no matter what the weather conditions are like here at Edinboro. The temperature is always just right, and there’s never a cloud in the sky.”

While all shows are free of charge, reservations are required. The planetarium can seat up to 70 comfortably. Online reservations can be found at: edinboro.edu/planetarium.

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