McMunn Planetarium explores the other side of the universe

Community member Grace Kennedy, her family, and others wait for the show to begin. Photo Credit / Briana Magistro
Community member Grace Kennedy, her family, and others wait for the show to begin. Photo Credit / Briana Magistro

Community member Grace Kennedy, her family, and others wait for the show to begin.
Photo Credit / Briana Magistro

By Briana Magistro

SC Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered where black holes come from? Do you wish you could travel in space and explore distant galaxies?

McMunn Planetarium in the Science and Technology Center provided a virtual ride through the cosmos to the edges of the known universe in Dr. Buckley’s presentation of “Black Holes — The Other Side of Infinity” on April 4.

This was Grace Kennedy, a Bushkill resident, and her family’s first time attending one of Dr. Buckley’s shows.

“I had taken some courses at the college and knew about the planetarium…I kept up with some things,” Grace said.

Grace’s grandchildren, cousins Vanessa and Myles, were also ready to explore space.

Myles is currently learning about space in his second-grade class. He was excited to learn more about black holes.

“When a sun blows up, it turns into a black hole,” he stated.

A sky show called “The Stars of Spring” showed before the main attraction. This presentation was made in-house and featured a multi-plane view of the night sky in spring.

The show outlined numerous stars and constellations pinned in the spring sky, including the “North Star” Polaris, the Big Dipper, and Taurus, the bull constellation.

The sky show ended with a look to the end of the known universe, of which NASA’s Hubble Telescope recently took a picture.

The planetarium turned into a “rocket ship,” bringing the audience through the stars out to faraway galaxies to have a closer look.

After the sky show ended, the audience took a journey to a black hole!

The show simulated a 3-dimesional trip into the black hole in the middle of our Milky Way Galaxy.

When suns grow in size, they eventually get so massive that they ignite themselves and bend the space-time continuum, as was hypothesized by Einstein.

A black hole forms due to this bend! Black holes have such a great gravitational pull that not even light can get out, hence “black” hole.

After the show, three-year-old Vanessa kept saying, “Good. I liked everything!” when asked about how she liked the show.

“I liked being in a rocket ship,” she said, referring to the 3D star journey.

Rick Safford, Grace’s husband, was very impressed with the show.

“[The show] showed how vast the universe is. It made you feel small,” he said.

“It was very educational,” added Grace, and she was amazed by Einstein’s space-time continuum theory.

Dr. Buckley will be holding another show on May 2 – this one geared toward children. However, he said, “Adults sometimes enjoy it more than the kids!”

Tickets for the May 2 show are free and seats will be available for reservation starting on April 28. Keep an eye out, as the shows fill up fast!

Email Briana at:

bmagistro@live.esu.edu

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.