Hardin Planetarium releases its spring schedule of public shows
Starry Tales for a Winter Night – 27 December through 10 February
A highly interactive planetarium experience designed to help you find your way around winter’s night skies. Participants will examine star patterns visible in the current evening sky and learn some of the stories our ancestors told to help them remember these patterns. We will also discuss some of the bright stars, planets and other celestial objects of interest in this evening’s sky.
REMAINING SHOW TIMES AND DATES:
Sunday, January 27, 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 29, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 31, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 3, 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 5, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 7, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday February 10 2:00 p.m.
Two Small Pieces of Glass – 12 February through 24 March
This planetarium experience combines a 360o immersive “fulldome” movie, Two Small Pieces of Glass, with interactive demonstrations introducing how telescopes help us learn of our place in the cosmos. The movie follows two teenage students who attend a star party. While looking through the astronomer’s telescope, the students, along with the planetarium audience, explore Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s rings, spiral structure of galaxies and how the largest observatories in the world use these telescopes to explore the mysteries of the universe. Together we learn telescopes work and how the telescope has helped us understand our place in space and how telescopes continue to expand our understanding of the Universe.
The Milky Way: Recycling on a Galactic Scale – 26 March through 12 May (not Easter, 3/31)
December TCCW Observatory Public Night
On 12/12/12, declared as Anti-Doomsday Day, join the Hilltopper Astronomy Club and faculty from WKU’s Department of Physics & Astronomy in the lobby of Thompson Complex Central Wing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 12 for an opportunity to view Asteroid 4179 Toutatis non-encounter with Earth as it makes a close approach to Earth.
Contrary to recent Doomsday predictions, this “potentially hazardous object” will come no closer to Earth than about 18 times the distance of the moon – or about 4.3 million miles. The peanut-shaped, 2.5 miles by 1 mile sized asteroid has passed closer to Earth in the past. Named for the Celtic god Toutatis, the asteroid can be viewed through telescopes in the direction of the constellation Pisces.
The evening is a refreshing excuse to view the heavens and engage in reasoned discourse and rational curiosity to counter Doomsday concerns related to the supposed Mayan prediction of the end of time.
A brief indoor program will be presented if weather conditions do not permit observing. Meet in the lobby of Thompson Complex, Central Wing (next door to the Hardin Planetarium). Admission is free. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
November 30: Bell Observatory all sky camera captures image of Leonid Meteor
November 25: Hardin Planetarium’s next show:
2012 Doomsday: Predicting an End, or Just a Cycle?
Some say the Mayas predicted the end of the world on December 21st. This interactive presentation takes a light-hearted look at the many “prophecies” and alarmist warnings which claim to know how the world will end, if any of them could be right, and how this craze all got started in the first place.
Free of charge and suitable for all ages. 40 minute running time, with time for questions at the end of the presentation. Please note that the show will begin on time, with no late entrance permitted. After this event we can SWIPE WKU student IDs for credit toward the student engagement activities transcript (SEAT).
SHOW TIMES AND DATES:
Sunday November 25 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday November 27 7:00 p.m.
Thursday November 29 7:00 p.m.
Sunday December 2 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday December 4 7:00 p.m.
Thursday December 6 7:00 p.m.
Sunday December 9 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday December 11 7:00 p.m.
Thursday December 13 7:00 p.m.
Sunday December 16 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday December 18 7:00 p.m.
Thursday December 20 7:00 p.m.
Sunday December 23 2:00 p.m.
Hardin Planetarium’s next show:
PlanetQuest: Discovering Worlds Around Other Stars
A new era in the exploration of the universe has begun. Less than twenty years ago, we Earthlings discovered the first alien solar system around a star like our own Sun. Since then we have used multiple methods to identify thousands of worlds around other stars — from scorching hot giants orbiting their stars in just a few days to planets orbiting in systems with more than just one star. New planets are being discovered at an exhilarating pace; bringing us closer to finding an Earthlike world — perhaps harboring life. Join us for an interactive presentation aiming at one of humanity’s oldest questions: Are we alone?
Free of charge and suitable for all ages. 45 minute running time, with time for questions at the end of the presentation. Please note that the show will begin on time, with no late entrance permitted.
SHOW TIMES AND DATES:
Tuesday October 23 7:00 p.m.
Thursday October 25 7:00 p.m.
Sunday October 28 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday October 30 7:00 p.m.
Thursday November 1 7:00 p.m.
Sunday November 4 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday November 6 7:00 p.m.
Thursday November 8 7:00 p.m.
Sunday November 11 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday November 13 7:00 p.m.
Thursday November 15 7:00 p.m.
Sunday November 18 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday November 20 7:00 p.m.
Hardin Planetarium’s second fall show:
Finding Your Way Around the Autumn Sky
The planetarium’s star projector will be used in this program as we examine the patterns in the stars of the Autumn Sky. As the patterns are identified, some of the stories that the ancients associated with these patterns will be shared. In addition, some of the bright stars, planets and other celestial objects of interest in the fall’s evening sky will be discussed.
Free of charge and suitable for all ages. 40 minute running time, with time for questions at the end of the presentation. Please note that the show will begin on time, with no late entrance permitted.
SHOW TIMES AND DATES:
Tuesday September 18 7:00 p.m.
Thursday September 20 7:00 p.m.
Sunday September 23 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday September 25 7:00 p.m.
Thursday September 27 7:00 p.m.
Sunday September 30 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday October 2 7:00 p.m.
Thursday October 4 7:00 p.m.
Sunday October 7 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday October 9 7:00 p.m.
Thursday October 11 7:00 p.m.
Sunday October 14 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday October 16 7:00 p.m.
Thursday October 18 7:00 p.m.
Sunday October 21 2:00 pm
October 23 – November 20 Strange Planets: Discovering Worlds Around Other Stars
More information on the Hardin Planetarium can be found at http://www.wku.edu/physics/hardinplantetarium.php
Public Viewing at the TCCW observatory
Our fall public viewing series kicks off at 7pm on Wednesday September 12. Our primary targets with be Mars and Saturn. We will continue our tradition of a public viewing opportunity the second Wednesday of the month through December.
October 10, 7pm
December 12, 7pm
Hardin Planetarium’s first fall show: Curiosity on Mars. A Big Rover on a Bold Mission.
NASA landed onto Mars the biggest and most advanced laboratory ever to investigate another planet. The 2000-pound robotic rover named Curiosity started its 98 week mission with a near perfect landing on August 6, 2012. We will talk about the history of Mars exploration, how Curiosity compares to previous missions, and the initial shakedown of the scientific instrumentation. This continuously updated presentation will include the most current news from the red planet. More information and a schedule of show times can be found at http://www.wku.edu/physics/hardinplantetarium.php.
Over 100 people joined WKU astronomers in watching the landing of NASA’s Curiosity mission live in WKU’s Hardin Planetarium Sunday, August 5. Visitors to the planetarium enjoyed an evening of astronomy activities culminating with a planetarium presentation describing Curiosity’s mission. At the end of the presentation, everyone watched NASA TV and waited breathlessly for word that Curiosity had landed.