A Trip Across the Universe

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Snow College Planetarium room at the Graham Science Center.
Photo Courtesy of the Science Department

With the dozens of poster laying all over campus, only a few students actually go searching for a world of science and mystery.
For most college students, the Planetarium isn’t something everyone knows about. The Planetarium offers a wide variety of shows expanding from multiple topics of the constellations and events occurring out in space. These topics even range down to the very roots of astronomy and the tools that were invented to move the work along quickly.
The Planetarium offers dozens of shows throughout the semester for anyone any age to attend. Everyone is welcome to attend at no cost; the shows are 100 percent free. Planetarium Director, Larry Smith stated, “We do need money, but we are not planning to charge for the shows anytime soon. We’ve talked about it and decided not to.” However, at the show, there is a way to donate money for a new projector or bulbs when the time comes, but no one has to feel obligated to.
Smith even said that they don’t just put on the shows, sit back and relax. Beforehand, Smith talks about the constellations out and which planets you can see in the sky. “We don’t just turn on a movie and sit back and watch,” Smith said, “we talk about the sky and the constellations that are out tonight and the important events that are happening right now in astronomy and things like that.”
On Wednesday, September 25, before one of their regular, hour long shows, Smith started by guiding the audience through a look at the sky. He pointed out the difference between the city night sky and the country sky, stating that you can see more of the stars out in the country where there’s less light pollution. Smith continued by pointing out the Milky Way Galaxy, including the Big and Little Dipper constellations and even how to find them in the sky. While the lecture was brief and detailed, Smith also announced that with the upcoming shows, he will talk more about the constellations and perhaps some of the myths and legends behind them.
While the Planetarium provides a life of science and fascination, the main part of the show is actually watching the movie. The recent show, Sunstuck, was shown on the 25 of September. This particular movie talked about the sun including details on the sunspots and even how the northern and southern lights occur. Like most attendees at the show, they all had the same thoughts on how fascinating the movie was. “I like how it talked about the life on earth,” Sydney Harris, a student, remarked. “I was kind of mind blown by all the facts.”
For Smith, his favorite part about the Planetarium is doing the shows for the public.“Having people come in from the community, and students getting excited about the nighttime sky and the fun things that we have,” Smith recalled.
The Planetarium puts on shows almost every week and even for their science nights, will put on three, thirty-minute shows aimed at middle school students. While most shows will sell out, there are a few that don’t. It’s never too late to get online and get a ticket for one of the upcoming Planetarium shows. These shows can be accessed on the Planetarium’s website by going to: snowcollege.com/planetarium.

Sara Schoenfeld is attending Snow College for the first time as a Communications major. She grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and found herself in Centerville, Utah her sophomore year in high school. At age 12, a fictional book touched her heart, causing a wishful spark to stir which led her to start writing her own inspirational stories. She continues to aspire towards achieving her goals by inspiring others through her writing.

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