The Hallstrom Planetarium at Indian River State College (IRSC) launches “A Year Full of Stars” previewing the new season of planetarium shows from its “Starlight Series” and continues the popular “KID SPACE” series as the 2019–2020 season opens with its unique series of STEAM talks addressing Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) and the humanities.
The community is invited to learn more about upcoming planetarium shows and offerings available at the first “Saturday afternoon STEAM Talk” of the season, “A Year Full of Stars” on Saturday, October 5 at 4 p.m. at the IRSC Hallstrom Planetarium in the Brinkley Science Center on the IRSC Main Campus in Fort Pierce. Jon Bell, IRSC Planetarium Director, will preview the new planetarium season and present a live star talk that highlights the current evening sky. Telescope viewing by the Treasure Coast Astronomical Society will be available to guests following the talk—weather permitting.
The “Saturday afternoon STEAM Talks” introduce guests to a broad array of engaging topics ranging from the stars to the seas. Other presentations will share updates on space exploration by Russell Romanella, former Director of Safety and Mission Assurance for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as well as share a dynamic presentation of the story of chemistry by Dr. Paul Horton, IRSC Professor of Chemistry. Free and open to the public, these 45-minute presentations will take place at 4 p.m. at the planetarium on select Saturdays.
The upcoming 2019–2020 “Starlight Series” will delight both novice and experienced stargazers with the following shows: “The Sun, Our Living Star” (Oct. 18, 19 and Nov. 8, 9, 22 & 23), “Star of Wonder” (Dec. 6, 7, 13 & 14)—a planetarium holiday tradition since 1993, “Evening Star” (Jan. 10, 11, 24 & 25, Feb. 14 & 15, and March 13 & 14), and “From Earth to the Universe” (April 17 & 18 and May 1, 2, 29 & 30).
Presented by the IRSC Hallstrom Planetarium and Treasure Coast Astronomical Society, planetarium patrons can also enjoy the “Transit of Mercury” sky-viewing event on Monday, November 11 and the “Astronomy Day (and Night!)” open house on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Both events are free and open to the public.
During “Transit of Mercury,” guests will experience guided views of the planet as it passes directly between the Earth and Sun—safely through filtered telescopes. At the “Astronomy Day (and Night!)” open house, they can participate in a community-wide event that features telescopes, guest speakers, handouts, planetarium mini-shows, and guided views of the sky.
Starting on October 19—and continuing through the season—the planetarium’s popular “KID SPACE,” sky shows introduce young astronomers to the heavens. Held on select Saturdays at 11 a.m., children will take scientific voyages of discovery as they learn about stars and constellations, Earth, the moon and other planets—and about the exploration of outer space. All adults must be accompanied by at least one child ages 4 to 12.
“Starlight Series” planetarium shows, “Saturday Afternoon STEAM Talks,” and “KID SPACE” are presented in the IRSC Hallstrom Planetarium. The planetarium features a 360-degree immersive digital OmniStar projection system and a state-of-the-art Spitz automated planetarium projector used to recreate the sky, sun, moon and planets among the stars on the 40-foot, domed ceiling during planetarium shows. Visit http://www.irsc.edu for a complete schedule.
Planetarium shows are recommended for adults and children over the age of 10. The air temperature is maintained at 72 degrees. Guests may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket.
Most planetarium shows are just $5 and tickets can be purchased online at http://www.irsc.edu or at the box office located in the McAlpin Fine Arts Center lobby on the IRSC Main Campus at 3209 Virginia Avenue in Fort Pierce, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by phone. Call the McAlpin Fine Arts Center Box Office at 1-800-220-9915 to reserve seats.