Seeing The Universe in 2020

Planetarium shows for the 2020 spring semester

As a new semester begins, the Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium is bringing back shows and introducing new ones.

One concept that came back this semester is called “Prescott Winter Night Sky.” It brought all the joy of star-gazing into the warm comforts of the planetarium seats. The Planetarium Director, Eric Edelman, guided attendees through all the constellations that occur overhead in Prescott, Ariz. during the winter months. 

Later in January, the planetarium will feature what they call a “Universe Mashup” which features different shows during their weekend hours. The shows featured are “Phantom of the Universe”, “Edge of Darkness”, “Beyond Our Solar System: Exploring Alien Worlds”, “Our Many Moons”, and “Across the Visible Universe”. These shows will occur Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2020.

The universe can be so beautiful and romancing at times, and with that fact known to Edelman, there will be a show presented on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 and also on Feb. 15, 2020, called “Romance Among the Stars.” The show will take you all over the universe to experience all the fire and fury that it contains to then finish at the heart of it all. No one should be intimidated by the romantic aspects of it because Edelman encourages all to attend no matter if it is with a significant other, another star lover, or solo.

Something new coming this semester is a one hour cut of the award-winning play “Silent Sky,” which is based on the life of astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt and her work with a dedicated group of women, including Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming, at Harvard Observatory in the 19th century. According to Edelman, “the planetarium will be the supplement” to the actors as use of setting and “it seems like the perfect way to tell the story of an astronomer: Henrietta Swan Leavitt.” This show will be presented Feb. 21 and Feb. 22, 2020.

The planetarium will feature another show from last semester, “Space Next”, which goes to the edge of the solar system and beyond with possible advancements in  technology. This show is coming on Mar. 6 and Mar. 7, 2020.

Another twist on the presentation style in the planetarium will come in the show by the Arizona Philharmonic – “A Celestial Spring”. Edelman says this show “will be bringing five musicians to play live classical music alongside our exploration of the Prescott spring night sky. It should be an incredibly fun evening!” Presenting on Mar. 20, 2020 with a little higher entry fee, it will be sure to add a new twist on someone’s viewing experience.

Some updates on non-show related details pertaining to the planetarium are stargazing and BCA involvement.. 

Stargazing is still occurring after some shows this semester; “any indication of whether or not stargazing will occur (weather permitting) [will be] on the description for each show on the planetarium’s upcoming shows page” says Edelman.

BCA is still sponsoring planetarium shows on the third Thursday of each month for the ERAU family to see completely free.

Edelman is hopeful that due to the ERAU family having special privileges of discounted entry fees, there will be a larger audience for shows; which then could open up the possibility of shows dedicated to the ERAU family only. So invite friends and spread the word about the exciting things happening at the Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium.