February 8, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Planetarium Presents Where Have All the Planets Gone Feb. 12

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Planetarium will present Where Have All the Planets Gone at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12. The presentation is free of charge and open to the public.

“If you’re a sky watcher, you may have noticed that there aren’t many planets in the evening sky, at least not until about 9 p.m. when a bright dot, the planet Jupiter, rises in the East,” shared Dr. Martha Leake, professor of physics and astronomy in VSU’s Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences. “You must wait until after 1 a.m. for Mars to rise, even later for Saturn, Venus, and Mercury.”

Because the planets, including Earth, are in motion, each at their separate speeds, Leake said that “sometimes we see several planets in the evening skies, and sometimes we don’t. Morning sky observers can see all the visible planets and the moon arrayed on a line from West to East ….”

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, including the moon, Jupiter, and the constellations of Orion, Ursa Major, and Leo.

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 with 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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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.