W.A. Gayle Planetarium to host Astronomy Day activities

Posted: Monday, 02 May 2011

MONTGOMERY—Local families are invited to take a closer look at the night sky during the annual Astronomy Day celebration at the W.A. Gayle Planetarium on Saturday, May 7.

The event is being held in partnership with the Auburn Astronomical Society and is designed to introduce families to the fun of astronomy. Admission is free and open to the public.

Activities will start at 5 p.m. with a telescope clinic led by Auburn Astronomical Society members and children’s activities inside the Planetarium.

At 6 p.m., Dr. George Michael of the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base will deliver the presentation "Extraterrestrial Aliens: Friends, Foes, or Just Curious” inside the Planetarium auditorium. At 7 p.m., Dr. Michael Sterner and Dr. Michael Patton of the University of Montevallo’s James Wiley Shepherd Observatory will give a presentation on the facility’s construction, operation and its new 20-inch PlaneWave telescope.

Following the presentations, Planetarium Director Rick Evans will lead a “Tour of the Night Sky” inside the planetarium, and at 8 p.m., visitors will step outside for a telescopic viewing of the night sky.

The W.A. Gayle Planetarium is located in Oak Park, across from Jackson Hospital and is operated by Troy University for the City of Montgomery. Opened in 1969, it is one of the largest planetariums between Atlanta and New Orleans.

For more information, call 334-241-4799.