Planetarium to host Centuries shows

In recognition of Ohio’s bicentennial, the campus Planetarium will be showing Ohio Centuries! through the end of the month and most of November.

Centuries is a show that uses the Planetarium’s projector. It takes the audience on a journey from Ohio’s formation in the ice age to the present.

“This show is unique because it’s the first show we’ve screened that’s primarily about Ohio and it’s timed for showing in our bicentennial year,” said Dale Smith, Planetarium director, “Our shows reach out to visitors with many topics besides astronomy, Centuries is a celebration of our state’s heritage,” he says.

Viewers will see how the ice ages were triggered in part by astronomical cycles. It will tell how Native Americans constructed eastern mounds aligned to the direction of mid–summer sunrise. It will also show how the European settlers surveyed the land and set up farms.

The audience will see that Ohio’s admittance to the Union in 1803 helped to produce individuals who contributed greatly to science and society. The state has produced six U.S. presidents and people who contributed to the world of flight, such as the Wright Brothers. A few decades after the Wright Brothers’ first flight, Ohioans were apart of the first crew to orbit the Earth and go to the Moon. For example, Neil Armstrong was the first off the shuttle was from Ohio.

Centuries was produced at Youngstown State University’s Ward Beecher Planetarium. However, some changes have been made to the show to enhance its presentation at the University.

“It has been running at the YSU Planetarium for much of the year and now people in the BGSU area and in Northwest Ohio also have a chance to see it,” said Smith.

This is the third show that has came from Youngstown. Serpents of the Sun , which was shown in 1994 and the first public show in 1984, All Systems Go, were both from YSU.

The show is 47 minutes long and will be preceded by a talk showing the current evening sky with the star projector. On Fridays and Sundays viewers will have the chance to stargaze and use telescopes on the rooftop observatory, weather permitting.

The show will be available from now until November 25. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. on Sundays, and 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. There will also be two showings on October 25 and November 22 at 2 p.m.

The planetarium is asking for at least a $1 donation to use toward operating costs. They depend on the funds of visitors in able to continue to offer these programs.