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Star Gazers Gather in the Wickware Planetarium

Published on September 25, 2015

Star Gazers Gather in the Wickware Planetarium

The Wickware Planetarium at Eastern Connecticut State University hosts educational shows three to four times during the fall semester. The events are free of charge and open to the public. The Spitz System 512 star projector launches stars, constellations and planets onto the ceiling, with hopes of educating guests on the latest discoveries and changes in the galaxy.

The planetarium’s central purpose is to educate individuals on the Milky Way Galaxy. The University hosts classes in the planetarium for Eastern students who take part in astronomy, chemistry, physics and physical science classes.

On Sept. 21, Eastern’s students and staff, as well as members of the public, enjoyed the first of the star shows that the Wickware Planetarium will host this semester. “Fall Skies and Space Update” was an informative event designed to teach audience about constellations, stars and planets that are visible, as well as the latest discoveries in the astronomy world.

Russell Sampson, professor of astronomy and assistant planetarium director said, “The show was everything I wanted it to be; both informative and entertaining.  We shared some laughs and at the same time explored some of the fascinating stories of this wonderful universe we all live in.” The show included events such as the total lunar eclipse that takes place on Sept. 27. Sampson used the projector to demonstrate what the eclipse will look like. “I really think the show went very well; the best part was the question and answer.  There were so many great questions from the adults and the children who came,” said Sampson.

Professor Sampson calls on audience member during question and answer portion of the star show. WILI Radio’s Wayne Norman listens attentively.

Sampson used humor and jokes to keep his audience engaged. “Although I was required to come here for class, I enjoyed this event as it was a fun way to learn about the stars in our sky and things that are going on with our planets today. Dr. Sampson is a wonderful teacher who uses humor to teach his students, which keeps us intrigued,” said Biology major Heaven Caristo-Mobley.

The Planetarium will host two more shows this semester on Oct. 26 and Dec. 7.

Written by Christina Rossmando

Categories: Physical Sciences