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ASU Planetarium Late Spring Schedule

March 21, 2012

Angelo State University’s Global Immersion Center (GIC), formerly the Planetarium, will present four full-dome public astronomy shows during its late spring 2012 schedule beginning Thursday, March 29, in the Vincent Nursing-Physical Science Building, 2333 Vanderventer St.

“MarsQuest” will run at 7 p.m. Thursdays and 8 p.m. Fridays through May 11.  “Passport to the Universe” will run at 8 p.m. Thursdays through May 10.  A double feature of “Cosmic Journey” and “Clockwork Universe” will run at 7 p.m. Fridays through May 11. 

“MarsQuest” is a chronicle tracing our centuries-long cultural and scientific fascination with the red planet Mars.  Set in a theatrical “three-act” form with an epilogue, it weaves an enjoyable narrative of what Mars means to humanity.  The first section traces Mars through history and includes excerpts from the novels War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and Barsoom by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The second act describes recent studies of Mars documented through telescopes and space explorations.  The third act examines the place on Earth where we can best prepare to live on Mars, what will be needed to get manned missions to the planet and what the first Mars landing may be like. 

“Passport to the Universe” reveals the wonders of our universe in a way never before possible in a planetarium.  Narrated by two-time Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks, it treats the audience to realistic, close-up views of star fields and planets on an exhilarating flight through a virtual re-creation of our universe, into the Orion Nebula, out of our galaxy, and deep into intergalactic space.  After reaching the edges of our known universe, the tour takes a “virtual shortcut” back to Earth – in a free fall, headlong through a black hole. 

In “Cosmic Journey,” viewers will tour the cosmos with astrophysicist Dr. Stacy Palen as their guide, and will hear the story of the universe from a uniquely human perspective as they drift through images from the Hubble Space Telescope and other NASA Great Observatories.  The second half of the double feature, “Clockwork Skies,” examines the motion of the Earth (rotation and revolution) and demonstrates how these motions affect the movements we see in the sky.  The motion and phases of the moon are also examined. 

All the shows are open to the public with admission prices of $3 for adults and $2 for children, active military and senior citizens.  ASU students, faculty and staff are admitted free. 

For more information, call the GIC at 325-942-2136.  A recording of the show schedule is also available by calling 325-942-2188.