Renovated planetarium ready to shine

Renovated planetarium ready to shine
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The L. Russell Kelce Planetarium at Pittsburg State University is refreshed, revived and ready to entertain and inform in a series of public planetarium shows this month. The planetarium will present “Back to the Moon for Good,” a 2013 documentary by Max Crow and narrated by Tim Allen, on Oct. 6, 13 and 27. There will be two showings on each day, one at 6 p.m. and one at 7 p.m.

David Kuehn, interim chair of the PSU Department of Physics, said the planetarium underwent a makeover this past summer, including the replacement of its old, analog projector.

“The projector was the original one installed in 1964,” Kuehn said. “The new model is a Digitarium Zeta, which has the ability to do so many more things than we could before.”

Kuehn said planetarium visitors will notice not only the visual improvements, but an improved audio experience, as well.

In addition to the new technology, the planetarium also received new paint, carpeting and upholstery.

Kuehn said the planetarium is a valuable teaching tool for hundreds of students in classes like Descriptive Astronomy and Physical Science each year. It is also an important outreach to the community, hosting tens of thousands of school groups and community members since it was first opened.

Admission for each public program is $3 for adults and $2 for children, students and senior citizens. Kuehn said seating is limited to about 50 persons per show, programs begin promptly at the time scheduled and no admission is allowed after the program begins.

Funding for the construction of the planetarium was initially provided by Gladys Kelce as a memorial to her husband. For more information about the L. Russell Kelce Planetarium and upcoming planetarium shows, call the Department of Physics at 620-235-4391 or visit the L. Russell Kelce Planetarium website at http://www.pittstate.edu/department/physics/kelce-planetarium.dot.