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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Planetarium Preview


“You wanna know what the sky looked like on your birthday?” Professor Dale Fields asked. Experience the cosmos from the comfort of a chair at the first planetarium showing of the semester.

The first showing will be held Wednesday October 17 in the Center for the Sciences.

Dale Fields, an astronomy professor and discipline advisor, will be hosting the event from 4 -6 p.m. Doors open at 3:45 pm and seating is first come, first serve.

Fields hosts the event twice a semester at different times to reach the widest range of students. He can answer questions ranging from, “Was that a UFO?” to “What did the sky look like on my birthday?”

“Every semester we try to do at least two planetary shows that are open and free to everyone. I try to do them on different days, because we want to reach the greatest number of people and show them some of the coolness that actually happens out there,” Fields said.

The six projectors in the planetarium allow one to experience the stars, in a completely different way.

“It is a thing where we can project the sky up onto the inside of this dome and give you a sense of flying through space itself, visiting different planets, visiting different parts of our galaxy, going out past our galaxy into the intergalactic space that’s there at the extent of the cosmic microwave background. All these are different places we can go with our planetarium,” Fields said.

Fields limits his time on a prepared presentation in order to answer students’ questions.

“Astronomy is one of those amazing sciences where people are interested. People want to know what’s going on with space. Even if it doesn’t seem to directly affect them, people still want to know and so I want to really honor that. I want to reach out to them and help answer their questions. Like, the UFO that was in the sky last night was actually a SpaceX launch and so maybe people want to know: what goes on with that, how can they tell what’s going on and happening in the sky,” Fields said.

Cindy Leon, a pre-vet major, heard about the planetarium showing last semester, but was unable to attend.

“I had school, job, classes, things, you know life happens. It seems cool. It seems cool to be able to come.” Leon said

Amir Ranjaber, a kinesiology major, believes the event may attract students to the field of astronomy.

“I think it’s nice, because those that are actually in that field and major it can be helpful to them. It can also pull other people towards that major,” Ranjaber said.

Hamed Seyyedi, a biology major and first-year student, has never been to the astronomy building, but is interested in the event.

“I want to be there. For my first time, it should be interesting, because I’ve never been in this case,” Seyyedi said.

Wednesday’s event will be held at the Center for the Sciences. Seating is limited and doors open at 3:45 pm. The next planetarium showing will be held December 7 from 5- 7 pm.


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