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In addition to our tour of the current evening sky, each month’s public show features a 10 to 15-minute segment highlighting a particular topic of interest. The segments for spring 2016 planetarium shows are as follows:
January and early February is a great opportunity to view at least four and perhaps all five of the bright planets. Alas, you will have to awaken a little early and bundle up on a cold winter mornings to see the planets. Why are the planets sometimes visible and sometimes not? Why are they all visible in the morning sky? We'll try to explain this part of the celestial clockwork.
Before laptops and smartphones, astronomers used astrolabes to determine the time from the night sky- and vice versa! We'll take a look at a modern recreation of an astrolabe and see how it works. We also examine the astrolabe's simpler, better-known cousin, the planisphere.
Your humble presenter uses Stellarium in nearly every show he presents, but rarely scratches the surface of what this amazing piece of free software can do. This month we'll tour Stellarium and its many features in a little more detail.
This evening is a Full Moon! While over four decades have passed since humans have landed on the Moon, scientists continue to give our nearest neighbor in space plenty of attention. We examine some of the more recent missions to the Moon and what they've discovered.
Jupiter now rides high in the Southern sky at twilight's end. We tour the giant planet and its fascinating entourage of moons.
*Please not these topics comprise about 10-15 minutes of the total show length of approximately 30-45 minutes; the bulk of th show continues to consist of the current evening sky tour. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to ask questions at the end of the presentation.
All shows start at 7:00 PM. Tickets are free and will be handed out at the door at 6:00 pm on a first come basis (one ticket per person). All shows are free-of-charge, however, we will graciously accept any donation of dry or canned goods for a local food pantry.
We provide free educational shows to school groups and private organizations (minimum of 20 guests) during the Fall and Spring semesters at University of Nebraska at Kearney. Please contact the department office to schedule a show. The phone number is 308.865.8277.