Closer to the stars: Planetary show

Closer to the stars: Planetary show

Pierce College Physics and Planetary Science Department chair Dale Fields took students on a trip by using technology to visit the planets in our solar system, galaxies, stars and other universes that spark general curiosities about space.


Pierce invited all students to attend the planetarium show in the blue dome located at the Center for the Sciences on Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m.


While taking a closer look at each planet, Fields lectured the students with some fun facts about space and used his computer to zoom in and out.


The reason Fields volunteered to share the viewing with students was his passion for space and how he wanted to express it to students and inspire them.


“This is one thing that always gets me excited, is that people love the same things that I love,” Fields said. “And I would be more than happy to talk about it to anyone that will listen.”


One of the attendees, Vincent Donato, found the show interesting and said he was amazed by the contents of outer space.


“It was amazing how we were able to observe and see what was out there because I was always curious if space was never-ending,” Donato said.


Fields mentioned that the planetarium show has been going on for about five years and said he has tried to show the planetarium twice a semester.


Fields also mentioned a telescope viewing in which he will set up a telescope and give people the opportunity to look at Venus, Jupiter, and hopefully, Saturn.


“Since when we had our first viewing, earlier in the semester we couldn’t see Saturn, but we are going to be able to see Saturn this time,” said Fields.


In the first telescope viewing earlier this semester, attendees had a chance to see Mars. Since the sky changes frequently, Mars is now behind the sun and it would be difficult to position the telescope to find Mars.


“The sky is always changing and what constellations are up depends upon on what time of year it is,” said Fields.


Because of the frequent changes in the sky, people need to be able to attend the viewing every semester to see different planets, galaxies and stars.


Fields plans to invite the general public to attend the telescope viewing and share his passion for astronomy.


“I have been trying to do at least a couple for a semester for the past five years and trying to get our telescopes out there as well,” said Fields. “This is in terms of getting students to look through a telescope for the very first time.”


The telescope viewing will take place at the Center for the Sciences on Thursday, May 28, from sunset to 10:30 p.m.