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Step Outdoors – Under the Planetarium

MU & Step Outdoors invites you to the Planetarium Open House


by Diane Eaton - March 29, 2016

A planetarium open house will be Friday, April 1 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Strait Planetarium under the gold dome in the Grant Science Center on the Mansfield University campus.

The event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome to attend.

At 7 p.m., in the comfort of the planetarium, Elaine Farkas, MU physics professor, will take the audience on an exploration of the early spring night sky. The short program will start with a video clip about the Constellation of Leo and other zodiacal constellations, the mythology surrounding them and their cultural connections. Planetarium visitors will see how the night sky constantly changes with a fast-paced look at the Big Dipper over a 24-hour period and through the seasons. The audience will then view the April 1 sky and star hop to a handful of key constellations and brighter stars as well as “wandering stars – notably Jupiter, currently visible in the night sky.

Tim Morey will discuss the impact of light pollution on the night sky. A natural resource specialist with the Hills Creek State Park Complex, Morey will explain why so many people are coming to this area and Cherry Springs State Park to see the “natural” dark sky. Those attending will be invited to try out some stargazing telescopes. There will be a sign up sheet for community members interested in forming an astronomy club in the area and another for MU students interested in forming an astronomy cub on campus.

Grant Science Center is located immediately behind North Hall in an area of one-way streets. Drive by Manser Hall on Academy Street to get to the Grant Science Center and the planetarium. Just look for the planetarium’s gold dome. Parking is available in nearby employee lots, requiring a short walk to the Grant Science Center. Parking on campus in faculty and staff lots is allowed after 4 p.m.



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