Edinboro University Planetarium announces fall program schedule


Dr. David Hurd on a bench

A classic Beatles album set to laser lights. An exploration of why we celebrate Christmas in the winter. A close look at Mercury as it crosses paths with the sun.

These are just some of the programs scheduled for the Edinboro University Planetarium series, which kicks off Sept. 3 in Cooper Science Center.

Dr. David Hurd and the Planetarium team have announced the schedule for the 51st season of free educational entertainment through the end of December. In conjunction with Edinboro’s Highland Games & Scottish Festival, the Planetarium opens the season with “Celtic Nights” on Sept. 3 – a visual journey to Edinburgh, Scotland, with Celtic constellations.

“You can’t possibly look up at the sky to view extraterrestrial events and not have a deep sense of awe and amazement,” said Hurd, director of the Planetarium and professor in the Geosciences Department. “Our mission at Edinboro is to bring these phenomena to campus to allow viewers of all ages to experiences these wonders.”

Fall 2019 Edinboro Planetarium Schedule:

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 7 p.m.: “Celtic Nights” – In conjunction with the Edinboro Highland Games & Scottish Festival, the Edinboro University Planetarium will journey to Edinburgh, Scotland, to relive the night sky over Edinburgh while learning about Celtic constellations, Scottish traditions and mythology.

Monday, Sept. 9, 6 and 7:30 p.m.: “Laser Rush 2112” – Over 40 years ago the holy triumvirate of Rush foretold an intergalactic war on their Prog-Rock album, “2112.” Join Edinboro as we start the season off with our newest laser light system generously donated by the Edinboro Student Government Association.

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6 p.m.: “World at Night” – A show designed for children ages 1-12, “A World at Night” allows guests to meet nighttime friends who live at Presque Isle State Park. One of our friends, the wise old owl, will introduce us to the night sky.

Monday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.: “Equinox Show” – What happens during the autumnal equinox? Well, the sun crosses the celestial equator, headed south. But why do we celebrate the occasion? Edinboro’s Planetarium team will inform you of the reason for the seasons.

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2 p.m.: “Laser Fun” – In cooperation with Edinboro University’s Reading Day, which features activities for students and no academic classes, this show is meant as a diversion for hard-working students. Join us as we relax with a compilation of different songs put to laser light. 

Wednesdays, Oct. 9, 7 p.m.: “What's Up Wednesday” – The name says it all. Explore current constellations and other objects visible in your backyard at the Edinboro Planetarium.

Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6 and 7:30 p.m.: “Abbey Road” – You might be familiar with the iconic 1969 album by John, Paul, George and Ringo that features classic tracks like “Come Together” and “Here Comes the Sun.” But have you ever listened to the Beatles during a laser show? Hear the classic Beatles album set to laser lights with this brand new show.

Monday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m.: “A Night under the Andromeda Galaxy” – AN OUTDOOR SHOW! Weather-permitting, the Edinboro University Planetarium team will take its show on the road to Erie Bluffs State Park for stargazing. Dress warm, and we’ll leave the lights off for you.

Wednesday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.: “Legends of the Night Sky” – This enchanting tale includes all the ingredients that make Greek mythology so interesting: love, heroism, betrayal and combat to the mortal end. Join the Edinboro Planetarium staff as they learn the fate of Andromeda.

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.: “Transit Show” – Every so often, the planet Mercury lines up in a way that blocks out part of the sun’s rays. This is called a transit. Be prepared to enjoy the Nov. 11 Mercury transit by attending this program highlighting the details surrounding the event. A public viewing of the transit will be held in the parking lot of Edinboro’s Walmart on Nov. 11 from 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 6 p.m.: “World at Night” – A show designed for children ages 1-12, “A World at Night” allows guests to meet nighttime friends who live at Presque Isle State Park. One of our friends, the wise old owl, will introduce us to the night sky.

Monday, Nov. 25, 6 and 7:30 p.m.: “Laser Fun” – A compilation of various musical artists from the past whose music is set to laser light.

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 6 and 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 6 p.m.: “Star of Wonder” – Our annual Christmas show is a favorite. Why do we celebrate winter when we do? Why Do Christians celebrate Christ's birth on Dec. 25? Why does Santa go south for the winter? Are any of these related? Sign up for this program and enjoy the Christmas season with the Edinboro University Planetarium.

All Edinboro Planetarium shows, which will be held in Cooper Science Center Room 169, are free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

Please use the online registration form at www.edinboro.edu/planetarium, or call (814) 732-2493 and indicate the number of seats you need, your last name and email address.

If weather permits, public viewing in the Edinboro Observatory will follow each evening show. Caution: Laser shows are set to bright lights and loud music – those sensitive to either should avoid these shows.

For more information about the planetarium or other educational opportunities, visit www.edinboro.edu.