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March 2009

Release Date: March 17, 2009ASU Logo

ASU Planetarium Presents Saturn Program

The complex and fascinating planetary system of Saturn will be featured in the program “Ring World,” beginning Thursday, March 26, in the Angelo State University Planetarium.

Show times are at 8 p.m. Thursdays, March 26 to May 14, and there will be a special Saturday showing at 2 p.m. on March 28. The Planetarium is located in the ASU Vincent Nursing-Physical Science Building, 2333 Vanderventer Ave.

With its stunning rings and dozens of moons, Saturn is an intriguing planet for many reasons. The giant planet has a huge magnetic field and a stormy atmosphere, with winds clocked at 1,118 mph near its equator. These super-fast winds, combined with heat rising from the planet’s interior, cause the yellow and gold bands that are visible in its atmosphere. Like Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, Saturn is a gas giant, made up mostly of hydrogen and helium.

The program will also focus on the ongoing unmanned Cassini-Huygens space mission to Saturn. After a seven-year voyage, the craft entered Saturn’s orbit in July 2004 to begin its mission that includes more than 70 orbits around the ringed planet and its moons. The detailed information gleaned from this mission is aiding scientists in understanding Saturn’s entire planetary system.

“Ring World” is open to the public with admission prices of $3 for adults and $2 for children, students and senior citizens. ASU students, faculty and staff are admitted free.

For more information, contact Dr. Mark Sonntag at the Planetarium, 942-2136.