Categories
Planetarium Shows

June 2024 Planetarium Shows

All planetarium shows begin at 7:30pm.

Admission opens at 7:00pm; $5/adult, $3/student, 6 and under free.

Telescope viewing afterwards on clear nights.


June 1 – Planetarium Centennial

The concept of a planetarium was started exactly one hundred years ago! We will explore a short history of planetariums through history and make predictions about the planetarium of the future.

Presented by Tom Burleson

June 8 and June 22 – Life in the Universe

One of the questions which humans have been asking for centuries is, “Are we alone in the universe?” This Saturday we will explore the types of life we might expect to find on other bodies in our solar system. During our presentation you might also learn some surprising facts about creatures here on Earth that are new to you! I hope you will join us.

Presented by Gena Crook

June 15 – Why is Lunar Science ‘Going South’?

Why does everyone want to go to the moon’s south pole?
What’s wrong with the moon’s equator or mid latitudes?
Is it cold at the lunar pole?
Will there be polar bears? Lunarians?
Will they bring penguins for company?
Isn’t it more difficult to get to the lunar pole than equator?
And what’s wrong with the moon’s north pole?
Are the people making these decisions lunatics?
Why do scientists ask so many questions?
Don’t you want to come to the show and find out?

Presented by Erik Silkowski
Categories
Planetarium Shows

May 2024 Planetarium Shows

All planetarium shows begin at 7:30pm.

Admission opens at 7:00pm; $5/adult, $3/student, 6 and under free.

Telescope viewing afterwards on clear nights.


May 4 – In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

On Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you!), let’s explore some of the real destinations in our universe that resemble key locations in the Star Wars films. Light Sabers allowed, attendance in costume
encouraged!

Presented by Alex Hall

May 11 – Planetarium Centennial

The concept of a planetarium was started exactly one hundred years ago! We will explore a short history of planetariums through history and make predictions about the planetarium of the future.

Presented by Tom Burleson

May 18 – The Real Death Star: Neutron Stars… with a helping of Nuclear Pasta

George Lucas gave us the fictional Death Star, but did you know the universe is full of real death stars? Neutron Stars, remnants of supernovas, are the real thing. They can produce beams of energy sweeping through space that can sterilize an entire planet. When first discovered as pulsars they were even thought to be aliens! Join us as we explore these extreme stars where ordinary matter is crushed into a very unappetizing dish called “Nuclear Pasta.”

Presented by Eric Silkowski

May 25 – Hubble and the Space Telescope

One hundred years ago this year, Edwin Hubble discovered distant galaxies outside our Milky Way.

Thirty-four years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched to begin a spectacular job informing us about the cosmos, including distant galaxies.

Presented by Beth Bero
Categories
Observatory

Spring Star Party this Friday

Our traditional Spring star party, often called a Messier Marathon, is this Friday 4/12.  Gates will open at 6:00pm, sunset is at 7:17pm.  Bring your scope to set up in the field. If you don’t have a scope, please come up to take a look through one of the society’s or other members’ scopes. We’ll keep the observing field open as long as you want to stay in the effort to pursue your observing goals. Save the date and make your plans now to join us on the evening of April 12th for a night of observing!

Categories
Observatory

Partial Eclipse Viewing at VBAS

Image from 2023 partial eclipse. Credit Jeff Delmas.

When: April 8th at 12:00pm, noon.
Where: VBAS. Our observing field is just outside of the facility.
Why: VBAS will have safe solar viewing equipment set up in the field for the public.

Remember: do not look directly at the sun, even during a partial eclipse! Sunglasses alone will not protect your eyes!

Staying in Huntsville during the April 8th solar eclipse? Join us at the VBAS observing field to safely observe the partial solar eclipse! At VBAS’s location the eclipse will begin shortly after noon, and reach peak occlusion at 2:00pm. The eclipse will reach roughly 90%, but not totality.

Image of 2023 annular eclipse from Garner State Park in Texas. Credit Mitzi Adams.
Categories
Planetarium Shows

April 2024 Planetarium Shows

All planetarium shows begin at 7:30pm.

Admission opens at 7:00pm; $5/adult, $3/student, 6 and under free.

Telescope viewing afterwards on clear nights.


April 6 – The 2024 American Eclipse

On April 8 the US will be treated to the awesome spectacle of a total solar eclipse. Come learn how and where to safely experience this special solar event.

Presented by Michael Buford

April 13 – The Magic Carpet

We can use the star projector in the planetarium to pretend to fly anywhere on Earth – like a magic carpet! Gena Crook will demonstrate the motion of the stars across the sky at the equator, the north pole, and the southern hemisphere. We will also watch how the sun changes positions at these locations. You may be surprised if you haven’t actually been to the equator or the north pole in person! This program will put the star projector to work and allow us to see its unique educational capabilities.

Presented by Gena Crook

April 20 – Edwin Hubble: 100 years since resolving the Great Galaxy Debate

In 1924 Edwin Hubble published an astonishing report—by finding a Cephid Variable star in the Andromeda Nebula, he found that it was an ‘Island Universe’ like our own Milky Way—the first proof that our galaxy was not alone in the Universe ! Come learn about that event and more to commemorate this centennial.

Presented by Beth Bero

April 27 – Hubble Space Telescope

Now that we know who Edwin Hubble was, we will turn our attention to the amazing space telescope that bears his name. Like its namesake, for over 30 years the Hubble Space Telescope has helped reshape our understanding of the universe.

Presented by Beth Bero
Categories
Planetarium Shows

March 2024 Planetarium Shows

All planetarium shows begin at 7:30pm.

Admission opens at 7:00pm; $5/adult, $3/student, 6 and under free.

Telescope viewing afterwards on clear nights.


March 2 – Sounds of Space

There’s no sound in space…right? While sound as we know it may not propagate through a true vacuum, these sound waves have many ways to be interpreted both for scientific and artistic purposes.

Join us to learn more about both near Earth and deep space oddities and discoveries!

Presented by Michael Buford

March 9 – The MOON Show!

The Moon is unusually large for a small planet like Earth. How might its origin may have been different from the other 289 known moons in our solar system ? We will explore the interesting lunar features, visible even in a small telescope and how they formed.

Presented by Frank Schenck

March 16 – Spring Skies

Our place in space at this time of year allows us a view into the deepest parts of the Universe to see many treasures. Amateur astronomers plan marathons in Spring to try to observe as many as possible! We will explore the spring constellations and some of the “treasures” that you can discover.

Presented by Alex Hall

March 23 – Planetarium Centennial

Since the beginning of time, humans have been fascinated by the starry sky and the secrets of the universe and devised many artistic and mechanical wonders to try to bring it down to Earth. In October 1923 the first ‘modern’ planetarium projector was unveiled in Jena, Germany and the first planetarium opened to the public on May 7, 1925 in Munich. Today, planetariums inform and inspire, stimulating the imagination like no other venue can. In this 100th year of the planetarium, learn about our quest to represent the sky!

Presented by Tom Burleson


March 30 – American Eclipse

On April 8 the US will be treated to the awesome spectacle of a total solar eclipse. Come learn how and where to safely experience this special solar event.

Presented by Mitzi Adams

Categories
Planetarium Shows

February 2024 Planetarium Shows

All planetarium shows begin at 7:30pm.

Admission opens at 7:00pm; $5/adult, $3/student, 6 and under free.

Telescope viewing afterwards on clear nights.


February 3 & 10 – Let’s Be Sirius for a Moment

Are you Sirius about astronomy? Then you might already recognize the brightest star in our night sky, Sirius! But did you know Sirius hides an incredible mystery that baffled scientists for decades? Join VBAS as we explore these secrets and the amazing advances in astronomy they revealed. You Sirius-ly shouldn’t miss this!

Presented by Eric Silkowski

February 17 – The Universe is Trying to Kill You

Beyond the calamities that face us here on our planet, there are other forces in the universe that can do us in. Since our planet formed, it has been under constant threat of annihilation from both terrestrial and extraterrestrial influences. There are numerous terrestrial or natural events that can and do occur, such as hurricanes, volcanoes, and earthquakes, that have terrible outcomes. These disastrous terrestrial events pale in comparison to some of what lies out in the solar system and beyond that could cause our ultimate demise, such as giant meteors, comets, asteroids, exploding stars, and more. Join us as we take a somewhat lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek look at the dark shadow of doom that awaits us from within our solar system and the deep recesses of the universe.

Presented by Jared Cassidy, VBAS Planetarium Director.

February 24

In October 2023 the continental United States experienced an annular eclipse. On April 8 we will have an opportunity to view a total solar eclipse. Join VBAS educator Tom Burlington for an explanation of this event and how you can safely view it.

Presented by Tom Burleson.

Categories
Library

Via Stellaris – January 2024

Greetings, All,

Here is the link to the January 2024 Via Stellaris.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iIZuCxiPRcPr59DeLitwwpQCiC9nhm9B/view

Happy New Year, have a great next trip around the sun!

Clear Skies,

Beth Bero

Categories
Planetarium Shows

January 2024 Planetarium Shows

All planetarium shows begin at 7:30pm.

Admission opens at 7:00pm; $5/adult, $3/student, 6 and under free.

Telescope viewing afterwards on clear nights.


January 6 – The Magic Carpet

Come explore the wonders of the night sky with
VBAS educator Dr. Gena Crook. We will travel
around the world and through time with our trusty
planetarium projector as our guide.

Presented by Gena Crook

January 13 & 20 – So You Got a Telescope

So, you got a telescope for a gift recently and now
you want to learn how to use it? Awesome! Join ex-
perienced astronomer and astrophotographer Frank
Schenk for a hands-on explanation of your tele-
scope’s abilities. This presentation will include a
short history of telescopes and how they work, fol-
lowed by a description of various types of modern
telescopes, how to use them, and the advantages
and disadvantages of each. Recommendations
about eyepieces, and necessary accessories such
as Atmospheric Dispersion Correctors. Bring your
scope!

Presented by Frank Schenck

January 27 – Solar Eclipse Coming April 8!

In October 2023 the continental United States ex-
perienced an annular eclipse. This coming April we
will have an opportunity to view a total solar eclipse.
Join VBAS educator Dr. Gena Crook for an expla-
nation of this event and how you can safely view it.

Presented by Presented by Gena Crook

Categories
Planetarium Shows

December 2023 Planetarium Shows

All planetarium shows begin at 7:30pm.

Admission opens at 7:00pm; $5/adult, $3/student, 6 and under free.

Telescope viewing afterwards on clear nights.

Our December 30th show is cancelled.

We hope to see you next time!


December 2 and 9 – The Star of Bethlehem

Join us on the evenings of December 2nd or 9th to
hear our Special Presentation of The Star of Won-
der. On these 2 nights VBAS actors tell the Christ-
mas Story told from the perspective of the Three
Wisemen. The journey the Wisemen took on that
first Christmas comes to life as they detail their
quest to find the Christ Child and answer a very ba-
sic question: what could cause that star to shine so
brightly? Children 12 and under will receive a “goo-
die bag” of toys and candy. Be sure to arrive early
as this particular show sells out early.

Presented by Don Reed and Tom Burleson

December 16 – The Star of Bethlehem

What was the star that the Magi saw ? Join VBAS
educator Beth Bero for this family-friendly program
that explores the history, science and wonder of a
special night.

Presented by Beth Bero

December 23 and 30 – Standing Stones and Sungazers

In recognition of the Winter Solstice we will explore how we believe ancient civilizations marked the passage of the year through monuments, monoliths and markers and learn about the astronomical causes of all the motions.

Presented by Alex Hall