November 16, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Planetarium Presents Season of Light Dec. 4

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Planetarium will present “Season of Light” at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4. The annual holiday presentation is free of charge and open to the public.

“Our program will begin with a look at the wonders that adorn our December sky — star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies,” shared Dr. Kenneth Rumstay, professor of physics and astronomy. “Then, after describing the origin of the seasons, we will explore the astronomical origins of some of our most cherished holiday traditions.

“In the full-dome video ‘Season of Light,’ produced by Loch Ness Productions and narrated by Noah Adams, we shall trace the history of many of the world’s most endearing holiday customs, all of which involve lighting up the winter season — festive Christmas tree lights, burning the Yule log, and the ritual lighting of the Hanukkah menorah. The show recounts the religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of the winter solstice, not just Christian and Jewish traditions but also Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican, and Hopi traditions. We’ll also take a look at some of our more light-hearted seasonal traditions — exchanging gifts, kissing under the mistletoe, and decking the halls with greenery and candles — and we’ll examine some of the explanations that have been proposed for the star over Bethlehem.”

Seating for each of the three presentations is limited to 47 guests. Free admission tickets will be distributed beginning at 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis at the VSU Planetarium and are limited to seven per person.

The VSU Observatory will be open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., weather permitting, allowing guests the opportunity to view the wonders of the heavens.  

Located on the third floor of Nevins Hall, the VSU Planetarium underwent extensive renovations during the summer of 2011 and now includes a Digitarium Kappa digital projector, which can reproduce the night sky as seen from anywhere on Earth or from the surface of any object in the solar system, at any time in history, past or future. This technology is the first of its kind in the world.

Limited parking will be available in front of Nevins Hall and across Patterson Street.

Planetarium public outreach shows are appropriate for children ages 5 and up.

The 2015-2016 Planetarium season will continue in the new year with Where Have All the Planets Gone on Friday, Feb. 12; Juno: Unlocking Jupiter’s Secrets on Friday, March 25; and The Radio Universe on Friday, April 15.

Contact VSU’s Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at (229) 333-5752 for more information.

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