Eastern Planetarium Star Show: Astronomy vs. Astrology

Written by Kelsey Tuller

Willimantic, Conn.–  “What is the difference between Astronomy and Astrology?” On Nov. 24 the Robert K. Wickware Planetarium at Eastern Connecticut State University hosted a star show to answer that question. Sky watchers from Eastern’s student and staff, as well as members of the public, enjoyed the last of three entertaining and educational star shows the Planetarium hosted this semester.   Astronomy professors Zoran Pazameta and Russell Sampson used the star projector to point out several of the constellations that inspired some of the different horoscopes we know today and touched on the history of astrology. They named a number of famous astronomers, including Ptolemy and Copernicus, who believed in astrology and horoscopes, but who also provided accurate information about the stars and planets. The presentation then discussed the validity of astrology, and its ability to predict a person’s personality and future. Although some of the information was more advanced than the audience was ready for, Sampson made it accessible and easy to understand, even for the children in the room. The Robert K. Wickware Planetarium is ECSU’s teaching and presentation planetarium.

The facility is used for university teaching and for public and private star shows. Students in the minor will learn how to produce and present planetarium shows and how to use the various projection systems including the state-of-the-art Spitz System 512 Star Projector.