Planetarium brings October night sky to life with free shows
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Written by: Susan Leavens
Photo: Mars against the night sky. Photo contributed by Planetarium Manager Derek Demeter.
With all the restrictions and guidelines that are encouraging us to live in a completely new normal, the four walls of your home can get a little crowded. Did you know that you can change your entire viewpoint and vantage just by stepping out into your backyard? The October sky, and your calendar, will be full of opportunities for you to gaze at the stars above, so grab your planner and start scheduling in the fun with the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida. All you need is your device and your eyes to take in some of the most amazing views. Your trusty tour guides of the galaxy are ready to dispense the knowledge you didn’t know you needed! Along with their traditional virtual public shows, the dynamic duo of Planetarium Specialist Justin Cirillo and Planetarium Manager Derek Demeter are hosting two out-of-this-world viewing parties just for you.
On Oct. 9, you will get a chance to check out the fourth planet from the sun at the Mars Opposition Virtual Star Party. In partnership with the Central Florida Astronomical Society, and other special guests, you’ll be staged and ready to check out the red planet as it hits its optimal time for viewing at this special event.
"Mars nears its closest approach to Earth, making this an optimal time to observe it,” said Demeter. “Although we can’t get together right now, we hope to provide an enriching experience, one that will inspire future scientists and engineers, many that may work for the space program to send humans to Mars.”
Guest speakers from all around the country will join the planetarium team to discuss the current, and future, science missions and the progress of sending people to Mars!
For some spookier fun, a Halloween favorite is making a return. Dr. D's Spooky Observatory Virtual Event on Oct. 30 will invite you into the mysterious observatory of Dr. Demetrius Deuteron for scary tales of the galaxy, telescope viewings and more.
"Halloween is always my favorite time of the year and we wanted to put together something that families can enjoy while maintaining a safe lifestyle during the pandemic,” said Demeter. “Many of the aspects of our Spooky Skies virtual event will incorporate elements seen in our in-person Spooky Star Party. It is definitely something you DON'T want to miss!"
Details for all events hosted by the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College are located on their webpage, and all viewings can be seen at their Facebook page. The events are free to attend, and they encourage you to share out the details so your friends won’t be left out when you start giving out tips on how to best see the stars from your backyard.
Located on Seminole State’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida offers live, interactive shows and full-dome video presentations. For more information on the Buehler Planetarium and upcoming events, visit the planetarium website, like the planetarium on Facebook and follow it on Twitter and Instagram: @seminoleplanet.