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“Bear Hunt” Observing Event on April 1st

VBAS is planning an observing event for the evening of Friday, April 1st. The first part of the evening is a “Bear Hunt”, which is an attempt to find many of the deep sky objects (DSOs) in the constellation Ursa Major, the “Big Bear” and in nearby Canes Venatici, the “Hunting Dogs”. Designed for new and experienced observers, we’ll have observing guides and fun games and certificates for finding some key objects.

The evening is also the ideal time of the year for a Messier Marathon. You’re welcome to stay as long as you want in the added effort to hunt down as many of the Messier objects as you can find in our annual Messier Marathon.

Bring your scopes and join the fun!  Setup starts at 6:30pm.

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April 2022 Shows

Saturdays, April 2, 9, and 30 7:30 pm
Astronomer William Herschel

William Herschel made numerous discoveries that give cause for some to call him the father of modern astronomy. His most famous discovery doubled the size of the Solar System. Come learn about this musician/composer turned astronomer/telescope maker who left forever one of the biggest marks in the history of astronomy.

Presented by Jared Cassidy

Saturday, April 9 10 and 11 am, 12 and 1 pm
The Zoo in the Sky

VBAS will be doing 45 minute planetarium shows on the hour during the North Alabama Zoological Society (NALZS) Kid’s Festival. All proceeds will go to NALZS.

Presented by Alex Hall and Gena Crook

Saturday, April 16 7:30 pm
Magic Carpet Tour

With a magic carpet we could travel anywhere we wanted, right? Tonight the planetarium star projector will become a magic carpet and take us to the north pole, the equator, and beyond! Why? So we can see the stars and the sun from different places on Earth. The sun’s path across the sky and the effects it has on earth at different locations might surprise you!

Presented by Gena Crook

Saturday, April 23 7:30 pm
Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope-one of humanity’s most successful scientific creations will turn 32 in April. For 32 years, it has been providing scientists and the public with spectacular images of most distant stars and galaxies as well as planets in our solar system. Come learn about the Hubble Space Telescope and its amazing discoveries.

Presented by Dr. Naveen Vetcha
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Planetarium Shows

NALZS Festival on April 9

On Saturday, April 9th, the North Alabama Zoological Society (NALZS) is hosting a Kid’s Festival in Monte Sano State Park.  VBAS will be participating in the festival by presenting planetarium shows featuring the “Zoo in the Sky.”  These 45 minute shows will be presented at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm during the festival.  VBAS will charge it’s regular admission fee of $5 for adults and $3 for students then donate all of the proceeds to NALZS.  No reservations required to attend the shows.

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Planetarium Shows

March 2022 Shows

Our planetarium show and star party on March 12th is cancelled due to weather.


7:30 pm Reservations required.

Go to the Calendar on our website and click on the Saturday you wish to attend to reserve a seat.

Planting by the Moon

March 5, 12, and 26 – 7:30pm, reservation required

Do you use the advice in the Farmer’s Almanac to plant your garden?  Maybe after tonight’s discussion you’d like to try it!  In the planetarium tonight we’ll celebrate the return of spring and investigate the constellations associated with the vernal equinox, i.e. first day of spring.  Get ready for warmer weather, sunny days, and planting seeds for summer. 

Presented by Gena Crook

Our Moon, Luna

Saturday, March 19 – 7:30pm, reservation required

Come join us for a show about our moon. The presenter will answer questions such as…
What are some of its geological features? What are the two types of eclipses that involve our moon? What value could the moon be to us in the future? After the show, lights will be turned down and the stars brought up on the dome. Special stars and some of the Spring constellations will be pointed out for you. See you there!

Presented by Brenda Rogers

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Planetarium Shows

February 2022 Shows

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff?

The Asteroids – Some of the other ‘stuff’ of the Solar System

Presented by Eric Silkowski

February 5, 12, 26. Reservations required.

We’ve all heard the expression “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Normally good advice for living.  With the asteroids, some of the ‘small stuff’ of the solar system, it’s actually a good idea to spend some time thinking about them.  While there are only eight planets, there are millions of asteroids.  Small asteroids buzz planet Earth frequently, and some even fall as meteorites!  Asteroids have been found to contain pristine material from the birth of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago.  Some asteroids are thought to contain unimaginable riches in precious metals.  Recent space missions have looked at asteroids up close, and some have even snatched samples for return to Earth.  This show will introduce you to the fascinating world of asteroids and explain why scientists do “sweat the small stuff.”


Magic Carpet Tour

February 19. Reservation required.

With a magic carpet we could travel anywhere we wanted, right? Tonight the planetarium star projector will become a magic carpet and take us to the north pole, the equator, and beyond! Why? So we can see the stars and the sun from different places on Earth. The sun’s path across the sky and the effects it has on earth at different locations might surprise you!

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Planetarium Shows

January Shows

“The Moon

Saturdays: Jan 8, 15, 29 at 7:30PM

Learn some interesting facts about our planet’s very interesting satellite and how it is unusually large for such a small planet. Learn about the interesting features you can see even with a very small telescope, such as craters, lava plains, mountains, rilles (look like river beds), volcanic domes, and how we think they were all formed.

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Planetarium Shows

Upcoming Show: James Webb Space Telescope

Please join us at 7:30pm, January 22nd for a talk on JWST by Naveen Vetcha.

On Dec 25th 2021, NASA (in collaboration with European Space Agency and Canadian Space Agency) created history by successfully launching the world’s largest and most complex space science observatory, The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST is currently on its way to the Sun-Earth L2 point which is about a million miles away from the Earth. During its journey to L2, JWST will undergo a complex deployment sequence to unfurl various systems on the telescope. Join us to learn about this exciting journey of the telescope and its mission objectives.

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Member Meeting November 19th

Don’t miss the Monthly Meeting this Friday, Nov. 19, in person and on Zoom! 7:00 pm for Pizza, 7:30 pm for our speaker, Michael Buford, our Vice-President. Michael will give a presentation on “The History of Space Flight: Early Space Flight to the Future”.

Link for Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89393503262

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“Star of Wonder” Christmas Show Returns!

That’s right! VBAS’s Saturday evening shows are resuming in December with this year’s Christmas show! Seating is limited and must be reserved in advance, read below for details.

All planetarium shows have limited seating and a reservation is required.  To reserve a seat go to our Events calendar and click on the date you wish to attend.  There will be a link where you can make a reservation.

Admission for a show is $5 for adults, $3 for students.  VBAS members are free.

When the sky is clear and the planetarium is open on Saturday nights there will be telescopes in the observing field after dark.  No reservation is required and there is no admission fee for this ‘star party’.  There will not be a star party if the planetarium is closed or if the sky is cloudy.

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S21 Direct Drive – Part 22 & 23

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOphA_jo1Us