Posted: Tuesday Aug 19, 2014
Aug. 19, 2014
Saint Vincent College will present four planetarium shows this fall in the Angelo J. Taiani Planetarium and Astronaut Exhibit in the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion on the campus of Saint Vincent College. Admission is free and open to the public.
The one-hour shows, all scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with a tour of the season’s night time sky, include Fall Sky Show and Dynamic Earth on Saturday, Sept. 13; Fall Sky Show and Oasis in Space on Saturday, Oct. 25; Late Fall Sky Show and Two Small Pieces of Glass on Saturday, Nov. 15; Early Winter Sky Show and Search for the Edge of the Solar System on Saturday, Dec. 6; and The Star of Bethlehem – Christmas in the Planetarium on Saturday, Dec. 20.
The shows are conducted by one of the faculty members in astronomy from the College’s Department of Physics, Dr. John Smetanka or Dr. Daniel Vanden Berk. Selected deep sky objects – star clusters, nebula and galaxies – will be viewed along with simulated trips to planets and moons in the solar system. The shows will end with a 25-minute theatrically-produced full-dome immersive video.
A second, 30-minute show appropriate for children ages 3 to 10, The Sky Over Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, will be presented at 12:30 p.m. on each date. The show will explore the sky with Rogers and the animated characters from “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”
Because of limited seating, advance reservations are requested and may be made by contacting the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing at 724-805-2631. Private shows for groups of 15 to 35 people may also be scheduled at other times by contacting the Boyer School. Scout groups who wish to fulfill requirements for merit badges are especially encouraged to make appointments.
The Planetarium and Observatory will also be hosting some special events this fall. The first is an open house at the Observatory and viewing through the College’s telescopes during Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 8-11 p.m. Weather-permitting, visitors can look through several different telescopes at the Observatory.
Public viewings of two eclipses will be offered in October, a lunar eclipse on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 5:30 a.m., and a solar eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 5:30 p.m. The total lunar eclipse will begin in the pre-dawn sky at 5:18 a.m., where totality will occur at 6:27 a.m. and end at 7:22 a.m. as the moon is setting and the sun is rising. The partial solar eclipse will be briefly visible just before sunset.
The Angelo Taiani Planetarium and Astronaut Exhibit is the centerpiece of the glass-walled atrium entrance to the Dupré Pavilion. The state-of-the-art planetarium was made possible by a gift from Angelo Taiani, a 1948 graduate of Saint Vincent who enjoyed a successful career as an aerospace engineer with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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