Aug. 14, 2017
Saint Vincent College has announced the fall schedule for public planetarium shows at the Angelo J. Taiani Planetarium and Astronaut Exhibit in the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion.
The regular season of planetarium shows begins Saturday, Sept. 16, and continues with a show each month through June. Each Saturday show begins at 11 a.m. and lasts about an hour. The shows will have a tour of the season’s night sky conducted by one of the members of the College’s Department of Physics – Dr. John Smetanka, Dr. Dan Vanden Berk or Br. Lawrence Machia, O.S.B.
Planets and selected deep sky objects – star clusters, nebula and galaxies – will be visualized and concepts in astronomy and astrophysics discussed. There will also be time for questions from the audience. The shows will end with a 25-minute theatrically-produced full-dome immersive video.
Following the all-ages show, at 12:30 p.m. “The Sky above Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” will be shown. This short, 20-minute immersive and interactive production is most appropriate for ages 3-10 and those who grew up with Rogers. The audience will explore the daytime and nighttime sky with Rogers and the animated characters from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. For selected showings, Fred Rogers Scholars and other Saint Vincent College students working to carry forward the vision of Rogers will supervise science-themed arts and crafts projects after the 12:30 p.m. show.
The schedule: Monday, Aug. 21, 1 to 4 p.m. Eclipse open house, Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion plaza; Saturday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m. to noon, Equinox Sky Show, From Earth to the Universe, 12:30 p.m., The Sky Above Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; Saturday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m. to noon, Fall Sky Show, Dark Matter: Phantom of the Universe, 12:30 p.m., The Sky Above Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; Saturday, Nov. 18, 11 a.m. to noon, Thanksgiving Sky Show, Back Holes, 12:30 p.m., The Sky Above Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; Saturday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to noon, Winter Sky Show, Stars, 12:30 p.m., The Sky Above Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; Thursday, Dec. 28, 1 p.m., Star of Bethlehem, 2 p.m., Christmas Sky Show, 3 p.m. Christmas Sky Show.
All shows are free of charge. Because of limited seating, it is requested that reservations be made by calling the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing at 724-805-2631 or making reservations online at www.stvincent.edu/planetarium. Additional public shows may be added based on demand. Private shows can also be scheduled for organizations with groups of 15 to 35 people. The college especially welcomes Scout groups which wish to fulfill requirements for merit badges. Appointments can be arranged by calling the Boyer School.
Photo: The Orion Nebula – This combination of a narrow-band H-alpha and broad-band color images was taken last fall with the 14-inch Schmitt-Cassegrain telescope at the Saint Vincent College Observatory. The Orion Nebula is a stellar nursery, birthplace of a new cluster of stars. This image shows the swirling dust and gas clouds that still surround the young, hot stars at the center of the nebula. This is one example of the many astrophysical phenomena visualized and discussed in the Planetarium shows.
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