Get ready to see the stars as Eastern Michigan University presents two astronomical viewing experiences at the EMU Planetarium: "A Part of The Sky Called Orion" and "Comets & Discovery: A Sky Hunter’s Quest."
Located at the Mark Jefferson Science Complex at Eastern Michigan University, the planetarium was established in conjunction with one of the University's most expensive renovations.
Mark Jefferson stood tall for many years after its construction in the late 1960s, but from 2009 to 2012, Mark Jefferson underwent a complete renovation, and one small piece of that 90-million-dollar project was the planetarium.
Norbert Vance, the Director of Schizer’s Observatory, is an EMU faculty member and spoke about the history of the Mark Jefferson Science Center and the planetarium.
Vance says that originally he had only asked for a hemispherical structure inside one of the labs at Mark Jefferson, but he was delighted to see an entire planetarium upon construction.
“The planetarium was an answer to an umbrella that we used to have in the astronomy lab. When the Mark Jefferson renovations came along, we saw an opportunity to give us an, which was thought about during the design process. I only asked for a hemispherical dome within one of the rooms, but the architects gave me an entire planetarium,” Vance said.
According to their website, the planetarium is a “Full-dome Digital Theatre Experience.” Some of the features of the Planetarium include a Digitalis Lambda planetarium projector, a high-definition presentation projector, 7.1 Dolby Surround sound, LED lighting, and a Dell touch screen 4K monitor.
The planetarium is hosting two popular upcoming shows this February, which are "A Part of The Sky Called Orion" and "Comets & Discovery: A Sky Hunter’s Quest."
While both are not new shows within the planetarium's discography, both are popular theatrical experiences that are shown frequently.
"A Part of The Sky Called Orion," showing on Feb. 12 from 7-8 p.m., is a show that dwells into the Greek, Egyptian, and Inupiaq cultures.
According to the website, "This program is not only great for the general public but is an incredible elementary school experience.”
This program will tell the stories from the perspective of individuals from these cultures and how they viewed Orion. This show is intended for grades 2nd and above, and tickets are $5 for general admission.
"Comets & Discovery: A Sky Hunter’s Quest" is a show centering around discovery, following two comet hunters and their journey searching the skies.
The program also focuses on the differences and similarities between old astronomers and modern-day astronomers. Showing on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m., tickets for this show also cost $5. The planetarium seats only 37 people.
For more information about the planetarium, future shows, and other information, go to the official website.