Pierce Planetarium Show

Clarion University’s Pierce Planetarium will present its monthly Stars Over Clarion show at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 4-5.

The planetarium is located on the second floor of the Grunenwald Science and Technology Center at 61 Greenville Avenue in Clarion.  There is no cost of admission, but seating is limited.

Doors open for the first show at 6:30 p.m. Each shows lasts approximately 50 minutes. Several of the topics covered will include an introduction to the current night sky and astronomical events occurring this month.

Telescope observation will follow the show at 9:15 p.m., weather permitting.

Clarion University’s Pierce Planetarium is a star theatre that simulates day and night skies and their apparent motions as seen from anywhere on earth at any time of day or night on any date in the past, present or future.

The planetarium uses Spitz A3PR star projector and a 40-foot diameter dome, one of the larger ones in the state, to do this. The star projector is a precision-engineered instrument that combines optical and electro-mechanical technology to provide an accurate projection of stars, constellations, the sun, moon, nebulae, galaxies and the Milky Way. Many of these are difficult if not impossible to see from our light polluted towns and cities.

The starfield is created by a hollow metal ball with over 1,000 precisely drilled holes and a specially designed LED lamp.

The star projector is supplemented by a set of over a dozen slide projectors, a digital projector and computer system, several special effects projectors, multi-color cove lighting and a high-fidelity sound system.

The planetarium was built by the university in 1968 using federal Title III funds designated for science education in the post-Sputnik spacerace era.

It has been in continuous operation, except for several renovations, one of which included an upgrade to a programmable digital control system that allows automation of parts of some presentations.

The planetarium and the former Pierce Science Center were named for Dr. Donald D. Pierce, teacher and chairman of the science department from 1932-1968. They were dedicated in 1968, the year of Dr. Pierce’s death.

Parking is available in parking lot 11 across Greenville Avenue from the Center. Because of construction, visitors should walk down Greenville Avenue and cross at the crosswalk near the north end of the building.

A map is available on the Clarion University Planetarium Facebook page.

Those who wish to schedule a show, may contact Dr. Sharon Montgomery at (814) 393-2571 or by email at smontgomery@clarion.edu.