UT's Ritter Planetarium explores Mayan civilization | UToledo News

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UT’s Ritter Planetarium explores Mayan civilization

The newest Ritter Planetarium Program starts in October and runs through the end of the world.

Each Friday night at 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 21, The University of Toledo’s Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory will air “Tales of the Maya Skies” on its digital 6.5 million-pixel SciDomeXD. The presentation will immerse the audience in a full-dome show studying Mayan astronomy, art and culture.

As many know, Dec. 21, 2012, marks the day some believe the Maya predicted the world would end, and the film will touch on this phenomenon.

Given the importance of the Maya in Latin American culture, it is fitting that each Saturday through Oct. 27 a Spanish-narrated version of the same program will be offered.

Each evening program will be followed by observing, weather permitting, at the Brooks Observatory

Produced by Chabot Space & Science Center, “Tales of the Maya Skies” inspires and educates through its description of the Maya’s accurate astronomical achievements and how astronomy connected them to the universe. Both versions are narrated by Latin Grammy Award winner Lila Downs and supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico City.

In an effort to reach the next generation of astronomers, Ritter Planetarium will screen “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure” each Saturday at 1 p.m. through Nov. 9.

The full-dome planetarium show follows Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from China. Together, they take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon, where they discover how different it is from Earth.

This program is a spectacle of light and color as the furry-friends watch the stars twinkle over Sesame Street. Children watching the show can participate by drawing constellations and counting the time it takes the sun to set. The show aims to nurture a child’s natural sense of wonder about the night sky while forging cross-cultural connections, bringing together kids across nations through a common bond in learning about the sky together.

Afternoon programs will feature solar observing, weather permitting.

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children 4 through 12, seniors, and UT students and employees. Children 3 and younger are free.

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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