History of telescope, star navigation focus of planetarium shows

February 2, 2012 | Events, UToday
By Staff

Visitors continue to marvel at Ritter Planetarium’s new Spitz SciDome XD projector. Check it out this month at two shows.

“Two Small Pieces of Glass” will be shown Fridays, Feb. 3 through 24, at 7:30 p.m. See a trailer here.

This program traces the history of the telescope from Galileo’s modifications to a child’s spyglass — using two small pieces of glass — to the launch of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy. While looking through the astronomer’s telescope, the planetarium audience will explore the Galilean moons, Saturn’s rings and spiral structure of galaxies.

In honor of Black History Month, “Follow the Drinking Gourd” will be shown Saturdays, Feb. 4 through 25, at 1 p.m.

Based on the children’s book of the same name by Jeanette Winter, this program shows how slaves living in the South before the Civil War were able to use a group of stars they called the drinking gourd to lead them North to freedom. Learn which stars they used and the secret song they sang.

If weather permits, observing with Ritter’s 1-meter telescope will follow the Feb. 3 program; observing at the Brooks Observatory will take place after the other Friday evening programs. Observing with a small solar telescope will follow the Saturday programs, weather permitting.

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children 4 through 12, seniors, and UT students and employees.

For more information, call Ritter Planetarium at 419.530.2650 or its 24-hour information hotline at 419.530.4037, or click here.

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