VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Planetarium will celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th year in space at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27. The presentation is free of charge and open to the public.
“Launched in April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has broadened our knowledge of the universe in countless ways,” shared Dr. Kenneth Rumstay, a professor in the Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences.
Guests will enjoy a brief overview of the Hubble Space Telescope’s history, followed by a tour of the late winter sky.
“Dominating the heavens all night will be the gibbous moon and the giant planet Jupiter,” Rumstay continued. “Venus, blazing in the West after sunset, will dip below the horizon at 8:46 pm, followed by the much dimmer Mars. Deep-sky objects will include the Pleiades star cluster and the Orion Nebula.”
The presentation will conclude with HUBBLE Vision 2, a full-dome tour of the cosmos produced by Loch Ness Productions.
“In this film, we’ll experience new views of the planets, peek into stellar nurseries, explore star clusters and galaxies, and view the universe when the earliest galaxies were first coming into being,” Rumstay added.
Seating for each of the three presentations is limited to 47 guests. Free admission tickets will be distributed beginning at 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis at the VSU Planetarium and are limited to seven per person.
The rooftop observatory will be open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., weather permitting, allowing guests the opportunity to view the wonders of the heavens.
Located on the third floor of Nevins Hall, the VSU Planetarium underwent extensive renovations during the summer of 2011 and now includes a Digitarium Kappa digital projector, which can reproduce the night sky as seen from anywhere on Earth or from the surface of any object in the solar system, at any time in history, past or future. This technology is the first of its kind in the world.
Limited parking will be available in front of Nevins Hall and across Patterson Street.
Planetarium public outreach shows are appropriate for children ages 5 and up.
Contact VSU’s Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at (229) 333-5752 for more information.