Ever step out and marvel at the crisp night sky we enjoy in central Arizona? Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is offering programs to help us learn more about what we are seeing.
Free shows are being cited as premier productions to introduce the Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium to Central and Northern Arizona. Eric Edelman and Andrew Fraher, ERAU staff who help coordinate the programs, report requests for free tickets have resulted in full capacity crowds for every show so far.
The 116-seat planetarium – the only facility of its kind in Arizona north of Phoenix – is configured so that visitors see the projected cosmos in 360-degree, 4 K resolution. The 30-minute shows explore various constellations, planets and other deep sky objects that sometimes are visible from the Quad Cities area. Experts from the local astronomy club also will discuss what makes the night sky unique in this region.
The program, “Romance Among the Stars,” will launch on Feb. 16. Organizers plan to debut a new show every month through the first six months of 2018.
Explaining the opening of the planetarium to visitors, ERAU Chancellor Frank Ayers said, “From the beginning, we view the planetarium as a Prescott resource. We want it to offer educational and entertaining content to our neighbors. This just another way ERAU can contribute to our community and to Arizona.”
The technologically sophisticated domed facility is located on the second floor of the recently dedicated STEM Education Center on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, near the west-central edge of campus.
To reserve tickets to the free programs, go to pre.erau.edu/about/jim-and-linda-lee:planetarium/upcomoing presentations. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at least 10 minutes before showtime. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
#1 Crowds frequently gather outside the Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium located in the STEM Education Center.
Photo by Ray Newton