September 26, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Planetarium Presents “A Gentle Fall of Rain” Sept. 30

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Planetarium will present “A Gentle Fall of Rain” at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. The presentation is free of charge and open to the public.

“While cloudy skies and rainy nights may be a curse for astronomers, it is the constant exchange of water between Earth and sky that makes possible the diversity of life on our planet — and it is something of a rarity,” shared VSU’s Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences. “In the past decades, astronomers have studied all the planets of our solar system and found evidence for planets orbiting hundreds of other stars. Yet in this plentitude of worlds, ours is the only one known to have liquid water on its surface.

“But it may have rained on Mars in the distant past; evidence suggests that this dry, desert world may once have boasted rivers and oceans of water on its surface. We’ll examine the sad history of the red planet and also that of our neighbor on the sunward side. It rains on Venus, but there it rains sulfuric acid, and the rain never touches the ground. We’ll then turn our attention to the giant worlds of the outer solar system. A rain of liquid helium may heat Saturn’s core, and perhaps Jupiter’s as well. Most tantalizing of all, extreme pressure within the carbon-rich atmospheres of these gas giant worlds might result in a steady rain of diamonds.” 

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.

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 features 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. Upcoming presentations include “Are We Alone?” on Friday, Nov. 4, and “The Star of Bethlehem” on Friday, Dec. 2.

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

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