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  • Planetarium

Planetarium

  • For information and tickets for upcoming events check out www.mnstate.edu/tickets.

    Schedule of Upcoming Events

    January

    One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
    Saturdays at 11 am
    Sundays at 2 pm
    January 6 – Feb 25

    NEW! Solar System Explorers Program
    Tour 1: Sun, Moon & Stars
    January 20 at 10 am, January 21 at 3 pm
    Grab your space passport and adventure with us to the far off reaches of our Solar System. This program will visit different planets each month. Solar System Explorers will be able to fill in their passports along the way and earn their very own solar system explorers patch at the completion of their journey. Visit each planet and get a planet sticker for your passport. Fill in all the planets and you become an official Solar System Explorer! Each month will feature different planets to visit but we will also take a look at what is up in our sky for that month.

    Full Moon, Supermoon, Blue Moon
    January 31
    The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 13:27 UTC. Since this is the second full moon in the same month, it is sometimes referred to as a blue moon. This is also the last of two supermoons for 2018. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

    Total Lunar Eclipse
    January 31
    A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes completely through the Earth's dark shadow, or umbra. During this type of eclipse, the Moon will gradually get darker and then take on a rusty or blood red color.

    February

    4th Annual Stars of PBS
    Saturday, February 3rd
    Featuring Sid the Science Kid
    Tickets available the day of show, first come first served.

    Romance Under the Stars
    February 10-14
    7 & 8 pm showings

    NEW! Solar System Explorers Program
    Tour 2: Rocky Planets
    February 17 at 10 am, February 18 at 3 pm

    March

    Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation
    March 15
    The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 18.4 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.

    NEW! Solar System Explorers Program
    Tour 3: Gas Giants
    March 17 at 10 am, March 18 at 3 pm

    5th Annual LASERFEST
    March 23-25
    Multiple show times

    April

    The Weather- Senses, Measurement, & the Water Cycle
    Saturdays at 11 am
    April 7 – May 19

    Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe
    Sundays at 2 pm
    April 8 – May 20

    NEW! Solar System Explorers Program
    Tour 4: Dwarf Planets & Moons, final tour (SS Explorers Awards)
    April 21 at 10 am, April 22 at 3 pm

    Lyrids Meteor Shower
    April 22, 23
    The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It peaks this year on the night of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving dark skies for the what could be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

    Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation
    April 29
    The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 27 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

    May

    The Weather- Senses, Measurement, & the Water Cycle
    April 7 – May 19
    Saturdays at 11 am

    Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe
    April 8 – May 20
    Sundays at 2 pm

    May the Fourth (be with you) & Revenge of the Fifth
    Take a look at Star Wars lore and tour our own Universe for real-life examples of some of the places seen in the movies.
    Friday, May 4th at 7 pm | Saturday, May 5th at 10 am

    Eta Aquarids
    May 6 - 7
    The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. It peaks this year on the night of May 6 and the morning of the May 7. The waning gibbous moon will block most of the fainter meteors this year, but you should be able to catch quite a few good ones if you are patient. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

    Kavli Fulldome Lecture Series presents: The Once and Future Earth: Perspectives on a Global Challenge
    Presenter: Dr. Daniel P. Schrag, Harvard
    May 9 at 12:00 pm (noon) & 7:30 pm

    Jupiter at Opposition
    May 9
    The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons. A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter's cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter's four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet.

    Tickets for upcoming events check out www.mnstate.edu/tickets.