Beautiful sky and beautiful company


Kaeli Reeves

Every Friday night the Planetarium puts on shows for the public to witness the wonders of the night sky.

The first Friday of every month is the Night Sky show. It highlights all of the constellations that are up that month, said Denise Stephens, an assistant physics and astronomy professor. The student or faculty member who does the show will point out those objects. Many times they include stories about the stars or music and special effects that bring the sky to life.

Josephine Ibisagba, 19, went on a date to the planetarium.

“It’s a little bit of time that you are in there, and you can shut out the world and focus on something else,” she said.

After the first show is over at 8 p.m. students can go up to the deck to see the stars in person. There are four telescopes pointed at different objects in the sky. This month, students might be able to see Jupiter, the Andromeda galaxy or the Ring Nebula, Stephens said. Students can also bring their own telescopes and get help from astronomy students. The deck is open until 10 p.m.

Ibisagba said the time spent on the observation deck “allows for intellectual conversations with your date.”

The observation deck is open any clear Friday night during the year.

“The next four weeks is the best time to come up and look through the telescopes this semester,” she said.

Around Thanksgiving it starts getting colder and the skies get cloudier.

The planetarium will also have a Harry Potter show tonight at 8. The show is put on by M. Jeanette Lawler, the planetarium director. She will talk people through the story of Harry Potter and explain the origins of J.K. Rowling’s character names.

“The author takes a lot of her characters’ names out of the stars,” Stephens said. “Bellatrix [Bellatrix Lestrange] is the name of a star; Sirius [Sirius Black] is a star, Regulus [Regulus Black] is a star and Draco [Draco Malfoy] is the name of a constellation.”

Tickets for weekly planetarium shows go on sale at 6:30 p.m. They are $2 at the door in N465 on the fourth floor of the Eyring Science Center. Shows start promptly at 7 and 8 p.m.

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