Date night at the Planetarium

Last Friday night students and attendants alike were in awe at EMU’s planetarium as it presented Saturn: Jewel of the Heavens. Date Night at the Planetarium was an inexpensive event that couples or astronomy lovers were able to be a part of.

Ariel Cotton-Jackson, an EMU freshman, came mainly for the joy of watching stars rather than sharing the experience with someone else. She said was really excited about it, especially since it was her first time being in the full dome planetarium.

“I was always fascinated about space…it’s what I think about a lot, like what’s out there, you know,” Cotton-Jackson said.

Since it was date night, the audience had the chance to take a poll via their phones or tablets and choose which show they were interested in seeing. The choices ranged from STARS: a diverse show about the stars above us, to the crowd favorite, Saturn: Jewel of the Heavens.

Tom Kasper, EMU Planetarium Coordinator, introduced the show and informed the crowd that there would be a brief preshow to explain the night sky and how the dome worked. The group watched and learned about the very basics of stargazing such as finding a “W,” a square and a triangle.

When the show ended, a small documentary of Saturn played which explained how to find the planet, how it got its name and what it was made of. After the show was finished, Kasper invited students to follow him to the top of Sherzer hall for actual stargazing.

“It’s just part of what we do as a department and as part of our departmental mission to do public outreach,” Kasper said. “When the facilities are not engaged with classrooms we do the public shows.”

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