Hummel Planetarium at Eastern Kentucky University is planning special public programming for National Astronomy Day and World Space Week.
For National Astronomy Day on Saturday, Sept. 30, guests may attend regular showings of “Earth, Moon & Sun” at noon to learn how the celestial bodies work together, and/or “Two Small Pieces of Glass at 1:30 p.m. The latter program shows how the telescope came to be, and how it is used today. After each show, a presentation will cover what stargazers can expect to see in that night’s sky.
That evening, from 7 to 10 p.m., the planetarium joins with the Madison County Public Library and EKU Housing to present a free outdoor viewing of the film “Apollo 13” on the Perkins Plaza outside the planetarium. Guests are asked to bring their chairs, blankets and snacks, and free popcorn will be available. After sunset, Dr. Marco Ciocca, of EKU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will provide a telescope for viewings, weather permitting. If the weather is inclement, the film will be shown in the planetarium. A truck from Apollo Pizza will also have food items for sale beginning at 6:30 p.m.
World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, commemorates two historically significant events: the launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1 (Oct. 4), and the signing of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Oct. 10).
The planetarium has scheduled several events throughout the week:
· Wednesday, Oct. 4 – EKU Student Night, 7-11 p.m., food and activities courtesy of EKU Student Life, beginning at 7, followed by a showing of “Interstellar” in the Planetarium at 9. The program is first-come, first-served; the planetarium seats 194.
· Friday, Oct. 6 – Coffee and Cosmos, 10-11:15 p.m., join for a free cup of coffee courtesy of Positively Java and a stellar lecture in the Planetarium. Cost: $2 per person.
· Saturday, Oct. 7 – Family Fun Day. The day consists of three events suitable for families and children ages 2-8: “There’s No Place Like Space,” 10-11 a.m., featuring a reading from the Cat in the Hat, followed by a showing of “Accidental Astronauts,” admission: $2 per person, ages 3 and under free; “Cosmic Art,” 2-4 p.m., watch “Earth, Moon & Sun” in the planetarium, then explore cosmic art with faculty and students from EKU’s Department of Art and Design and learn how to create elements of space on paper using pastels and then create and leave with a masterpiece of your own, cost $10 for show and activity or $5 for snow, suitable for ages 8 and up; free showing of “Wall-E,” 6-9 p.m. in planetarium, free popcorn, sponsored by EKU Office of Sustainability and EKU Housing, first-come, first-served and suitable for all ages.
· Monday, Oct. 9 – EKU Employee and Family Night, 6-7:30 p.m., bring family and show EKU ID to see the planetarium program, “Big,” for free, sponsored by EKU Staff Council, followed by presentation by Dr. Jessica Lair, EKU Department of Physics and Astronomy.
· Tuesday, Oct. 10 – Physics & Astronomy Night, 6-7:30 p.m., featuring the program “Two Small Pieces of Glass,” and a presentation by Dr. Mark Pitts, EKU Department of Physics and Astronomy, cost $2 per person, ages 3 and under free, suitable for all ages.
For more information, including full descriptions of all programs, visit planetarium.eku.edu.