February 17, 2010
10-033

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Discover the Universe at the VSU Planetarium

VALDOSTA -- During the International Year of Astronomy, themed "The Universe: Yours to Discover," community members are invited to explore the history of the cosmos at the VSU Planetarium.

The spring season beings Friday, Feb. 19, as astronomy professor Dr. Martha Leake presents "Our Journey from Galileo to the Cosmos." The one-hour program, presented at 7:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., chronicles the development of astronomy, beginning with Galileo's first glimpse into the heavens, through the development of theories and instruments for observation, to human presence in space and modern data that can be "minded" by scientists anywhere.

"The year 2010 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of Galileo’s Starry Messenger, a pamphlet about his new telescopic discoveries. His push to experiment, to observe, and to share that knowledge marks him as one of our first real 'scientists,'" Rumstay said about the inspiration for the next show. "In our upcoming program, we’ll apply that pathway to knowledge to the astronomy of the 21st Century, looking at recent discoveries of the workings of the solar system to the workings of the universe."

On April 23, the second spring show, "In 1910: 'An Unaccountable Freak,'" will explore the discovery and passages of Hailey's Comet in relation to the birth and death of Mark Twain.

Both shows are free to the public with seating available on a first come first served basis. Weather permitting, the observation deck atop Nevin's Hall will be open for guests to explore the heavens first hand.

Located on the third floor of Nevin's Hall, VSU's planetarium serves up to 47 visitors per show with limited parking available in front of Nevins Hall and across North Patterson Street near VSU Admissions. It also caters to schools and civic organizations with groups of 10 or more with two weeks advance notice. Call (229) 333-5752 to make reservations.