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May 2007

Release Date: May 29, 2007

ASU Planetarium Opens Fiery New Show

The brightest object in our night sky other than the moon will be the focus of the new feature “Venus: Earth’s Fiery Twin,” beginning Thursday, May 31, in the Angelo State University Planetarium.

Show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays, May 31 to June 28. The Planetarium is located in the ASU Vincent Nursing-Physical Science Building, 2333 Vanderventer.

In many ways, Venus is similar to Earth. It is about the same size and mass and must be made up primarily of similar rocky materials. But, the details of the surface features on Venus have been difficult to study from Earth.

Despite being the planet nearest to Earth, many questions about Venus still remain. Why has Venus proven so hard to study? Does Venus have active volcanoes? How do features on Venus relate to those we see on Earth? These questions and more will be explored in the Planetarium show that incorporates the latest findings from the spectacular Magellan spacecraft mission to Venus.

Venus will be visible locally through early August toward the west, shortly after sunset. It appears to be an extremely bright star near the western horizon and owes its great brilliance to its proximity to Earth and its highly reflective clouds.

“Venus: Earth’s Fiery Twin” is open to the public with admission prices of $3 for adults and $2 for children and senior citizens. ASU students, faculty and staff are admitted free.

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

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