Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

On Friday, Nov. 4, West Chester University’s Dr. Sandra F. Pritchard Mather Planetarium held their planetarium show titled, “Raining Stars.” This show was open to the public, which resulted in a sold out show.

The West Chester University Planetarium holds open planetarium shows for the public throughout the year in the 32-foot dome. All shows start at 7 p.m. and are an hour in length. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the SSI Ticket Office at 610-436-2266.

Tickets are $6 dollars per person and for free, children under five years old may sit on a parent’s lap. Tickets are nonrefundable and cannot be purchased at the planetarium.

The next show will be held on Friday, Nov. 11. Shows will also be held on Nov. 18, Dec. 2, and Dec. 9. In the new year, shows will be held on Jan. 27, Feb. 24, Mar. 31 and Apr. 28. For each show, reservations can be made in advance.

Situated on WCU’s north campus in the Schmucker Science Center, the Mather Planetarium is run by the Department of Earth and Space Science. The planetarium offers live shows, which are offered once a month during the regular academic year.

The live shows are held by PhD astronomers and focus on what is visible in the sky that night. Specifically tailored to the planetarium’s dome, astronomy-themed educational movies that are roughly 30 minutes in duration are shown. The movies include “To Space and Back,” “Oasis in Space,” “Astronaut” and “Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity.”

For movie details and descriptions, visit http://www.wcupa.edu/sciencesmathematics/earthSpaceSciences. Prior to the beginning of the movie, there is a twenty-minute overview of the current night sky.

The students in the Department of Earth and Space Science hold recorded shows. In addition to live shows and pre-recorded shows, the planeterium offers special events.

Around 50 schools and other groups attend the programs each year and approximately 2,000 people attend each year. In addition to public shows, the WCU astronomy classes, K-12 school groups and public programs utilize the planetarium.

The programs are funded by a variety of sources, including the West Chester University College of Science and Mathematics, admissions fees and generous public donations.

For more information or questions regarding the shows, contact the planetarium’s director, Dr. Karan Schwarz. For further information, visit the WCU Earth and Space Sciences Facebook page.

Rachael Wentz is a fourth-year majoring in communications studies. She can be reached at RW781262@wcupa.edu.

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