Friday, February 3, 2012
Westminster College's planetarium will offer five full-dome shows and two special lectures for the spring semester.
"Two Small Pieces of Glass" is a full-dome movie that explores the 400-year history of the telescope from Galileo's spyglass to giant modern observatories. The program includes a live introduction and indoor star show.
"Two Small Pieces of Glass" will be shown Saturday, Feb. 18, at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Rooftop stargazing will follow the 7:30 p.m. screening, weather permitting.
A special lecture, "Telescopes," will be given by Dr. Thomas Oberst, assistant professor of physics and director of the planetarium, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. Oberst will share an overview of telescopes from backyard models to the new generation of football-field-sized models designed to capture the farthest and sharpest images of space.
"Tales of the Maya Skies" is a full-dome movie that explores Mayan culture, mythology, and astronomy, including the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012. A live introduction and indoor star show are part of the program.
"Tales of the Maya Skies" will be shown Saturday, March 17, at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. Weather permitting, rooftop stargazing will follow the 7:30 p.m. shows on both dates.
Oberst will present "Doomsday 2012," a special lecture, April 21 at 6 p.m. The lecture will explore events alleged to follow Dec. 21, 2012, when the ancient Mayan calendar rolls over. Alleged events include: a new spiritual awakening, widespread destruction, and a collision of the Earth and another planet. Oberst will explain Mayan astronomy and discuss the criteria for distinguishing between science fact and science fiction.
Click here for details on planetarium shows and special lectures.
The programs are free and open to the public. However, reservations are necessary due to limited seating. Reservations, including private showings for larger groups, can be made by contacting Westminster's Physics Department at (724) 946-7200 Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m-4:30 p.m., emailing, or completing the online form.