Paul Arendt will give an interactive tour of the heavens starting at 7 p.m. today, Dec. 7 and will highlight the planets and constellations that will be visible throughout the month.
Additionally, the nature center will show the full-dome film “We Are Stars” at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8.
Mars, Jupiter, Mercury and Venus will all be visible in December. Arendt will also discuss selected objects like upcoming double stars, star clusters and galaxies outlined in a star-chart that will be given to the audience. It will include objects that can be seen by the unaided eye or with binoculars or modest telescopes.
Arendt’s talk will end with a brief presentation on recent astronomical findings announced by NASA and other research institutions. One example includes evidence from the European Gaia satellite of retrograde motions of stars in our Milky Way, including that it experienced a merger with another galaxy several billion years ago. After the talk, Arendt will take requests from audience members to objects of personal interest. This talk is perfect for beginning stargazers.
The full-dome film “We Are Stars” explores the secrets of our cosmic chemistry and our explosive origins. This animated film is narrated by Andy Serkis and connects life on earth to the evolution of the universe. The screening begins at 2 p.m.
Seating is limited for both the talk and movie, so please call the nature center at 505.662.0460 or stop by to reserve tickets. Admission for both events is $6 for adults and $4 for kids. Events in the planetarium are not recommended for kids under age 4.