W.A. Gayle Planetarium to host Astronomy Day activities

Posted: Thursday, 11 April 2013

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, April 20.

The event is 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. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own telescopes or binoculars as well.

Starting at 3 p.m., early visitors will be able to view the seven-day-old moon and the sun in the light of hydrogen-alpha with PST Solar Scopes. Members of the Auburn Astronomical Society will conduct a “Telescope Clinic” starting at 5 p.m. in which guests can bring malfunctioning or disassembled telescopes for repair. At 6 p.m., Dr. Rodger G. Morrison, a TROY assistant professor of information systems, will give the presentation “Astrophotography: Taking Good Pictures of Cool Stuff with Amateur Equipment,” inside the planetarium auditorium.

Following the presentation, Planetarium Director Rick Evans will lead a “Tour of the Night Sky” inside the planetarium, and after sunset, visitors will step outside for telescopic viewing of the night sky. There will be several telescopes available for viewing courtesy of the Auburn Astronomical Society, and participants will get the chance to view Jupiter, the moon and several binary star systems.

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, or visit the W.A. Gayle Planetarium on Facebook.