Planetarium celebrates 30 years with new Starlight Series

news release

The Hallstrom Planetarium at Indian River State College (IRSC) announces the 2022–2023 “Starlight Series” season, continues the popular “KID SPACE,” shares a unique series of STEAM talks addressing Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM), and celebrates 30 years of sharing the stars under the planetarium dome. 

Jon Bell, IRSC Hallstrom Planetarium Director.

Starlight Series shows are presented Fridays at 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5, unless otherwise noted. Here are this season’s shows: 

“Red Planet Rising” October 7, 8, 21, 22 and November 4, 5 

Find out all about Mars—the red planet—and our plans to go there. Mars is visible in the late autumn 2022 evening skies.  

“Star of Wonder—30th Anniversary” December 2, 3, 9, 10 

What was the mysterious star that guided the Magi? Could it have been a comet, a meteor or a supernova? How might an astronomer explain it? Find out as we take the Planetarium back in time more than 2,000 years to recreate the skies over Judea. Star of Wonder has been A family holiday tradition since 1993.  

“Yuletides” Saturday, December 17, 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. 

Enjoy a live concert “under the stars” featuring songs of the holiday season with the electronic music of world-renowned composer and artist Jonn Serrie. Tickets are $15.  

“MARS Watch—See the Red Planet!” December 9, 17 and January 13, 14, 28  

Mars is at opposition on December 8, 2022, when Earth passes it at roughly 40 million miles. We then will be the closest to it, and it will appear at its biggest and brightest! Members of the Treasure Coast Astronomical Society (treasurecoastastronomy.org) will host guided views of Mars and its features at the Hallstrom Planetarium, weather permitting. These events are FREE and open to the public.  

“Space Songs, The Musical!” February 10, 11, 24, 25 and March 10, 11 

Join science teachers, students, and the rest of the audience in singing outer space songs as everyone prepares for the next big science exam. Use music to master the subjects!  

“Forward to the Moon,” April 21, 22 and May 12, 13, 26, 27 

No one has walked on the moon—our nearest neighbor—since December 1972. It’s time we returned. Learn about the work being done by NASA and independent contractors to build and launch astronauts to the moon through the Artemis Project. 

These 45-minute “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) presentations are free and open to the public, Saturdays at 6:00 p.m.: 

Open House and A Year Full of Stars, October 1, 6:00–9:00 p.m. 

Join Planetarium Director Jon U. Bell for a preview of a new season of planetarium shows and awesome Florida sky events. Explore the new Planetarium Gift Shop at our official opening.  

“Astronomy Day and NASA Update” January 28, 3:00–9:00 p.m. 

Hear Russell Romanella, former Director of Safety and Mission Assurance for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, discuss NASA, the space program, and the exploration of the Universe. The Treasure Coast Astronomical Society will provide exhibits with telescopes, activities for the family and guided views of the sky after the presentation—weather permitting.  

“The Friendly Robot—The Modern Planetarium” March 25, 6:00 p.m. 

The IRSC planetarium projector is 30 years old in March 2023. See this modern marvel and learn how it works during this lecture by Planetarium Director Jon U. Bell.  

“Pythagoras and the Music of the Spheres” June 10, 6:00 p.m. 

Attend this lecture presented by IRSC math instructor Dr. Michael Reynolds to learn about the interconnections between math, music and science. 

The popular ‘Kid Space’ series, for children ages four to 12 at 11:00 a.m. is offered on select Saturdays. All adults must be accompanied by at least one child. Shows are planned for October 8 and 22, November 5, December 3 and 10, February 11 and 25, March 11, April 22, May 13 and 27. 

“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 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 $5 and tickets can be purchased online or at the box office located in the McAlpin Fine Arts Center lobby on the IRSC Massey 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. 

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