IRSC Hallstrom Planetarium season begins Sept. 23

Posted 9/3/23

Celebrating more than 30 years of helping local residents explore the night sky and examine humanity’s...

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IRSC Hallstrom Planetarium season begins Sept. 23


FORT PIERCE — Be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday, Sept. 23, to attend the free annual Open House at Indian River State College’s Hallstrom Planetarium, located on the College’s Massey Campus, 3209 Virginia Ave. in Fort Pierce.

Celebrating more than 30 years of helping local residents explore the night sky and examine humanity’s place in the universe, the Planetarium kicks off each season with an Open House to announce and discuss the year’s upcoming shows and special events. The free event takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, and also features a free Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) Talk.

The season continues with:

• Sky Event: Partial Solar Eclipse Watch - Oct. 14 at 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free admission. — Free guided viewing will be conducted by the Treasure Coast Astronomical Society, Hallstrom Planetarium and IRSC’s student astronomy club. Seen as a partial eclipse on the Treasure Coast (nearly 65% of the sun’s disc obscured by the moon at maximum).

• Stars to Starfish - Oct. 20, Nov. 3, Nov. 17 at 7 & 8:30 p.m.; Oct. 21, Nov. 4, Nov. 18 at 1 & 2:30 p.m., $7 — We explore the Universe; and we also explore the Earth’s watery seas, connecting the oceans below us with the ocean of stars above.

• Star of Wonder - Dec. 1, Dec. 8 at 7 & 8:30 p.m.; Dec. 2, Dec. 9 at 1 & 2:30 p.m., $7 — An astronomer’s search for the mystery of the Nativity Star, a Hallstrom Planetarium tradition since 1993.

• South for The Winter - Jan. 19, Feb. 2, Mar. 1 at 7 & 8:30 p.m.; Jan. 20, Feb. 3, Mar. 2 at 1 & 2:30 p.m., $7 — See the stars change in the sky as you travel from Earth’s northern hemisphere south to Antarctica.

• Astronomy Day & STEAM Talk - Feb. 17 at 3–9 p.m. — Free open house with a NASA STEAM Talk at 5 p.m. and TCAS telescopes.

• STEAM Talk: Robots and AI—The Past, Present and Future - March 30 • 6-6:45 p.m. — Free lecture about robotics and artificial intelligence by IRSC Electronics Engineering Technology Professor Paul Godfrey.

• Sky Event: Partial Solar Eclipse Watch - April 8 at 1:30–4:30 p.m. — Free guided viewing of a solar eclipse with the Treasure Coast Astronomical Society. This total eclipse will be seen locally as a partial eclipse (60% at maximum at 3:03 p.m.).

• Black Holes - April 19, May 10, June 14 at 7 & 8:30 p.m.; April 20, May 11, June 15 at 1 & 2:30 p.m., $7 — Narrated by John de Lancie (“Q” from Star Trek), the show discusses the ins and the outs of black holes. A live star talk at the end of the program points out where you can find black holes in the sky.

• STEAM Talk: The Celestial Tapestry - April 27 at 6–6:45 p.m. — Free lecture showing the connection between art and astronomy.

• STEAM Talk: The Science in Science Fiction - May 25 at 6–6:45 p.m. — Free lecture about good and bad science found in books, films and TV shows about science fiction, fantasy and space opera.

• Kid Space programs for children ages 4-12 are offered on select Saturdays at 11 a.m. Shows feature stars and constellations that can be found in the current evening sky. Tickets are $7 per person.

• Stars to Starfish, Jr. - Oct. 21; Nov. 4 & 18 — Explore the Earth’s oceans, and discover the ocean of stars above!

• Ornaments in the Sky - Dec. 2 & 9 — Bright celestial objects shine in the sky as winter approaches.

• Trip Through Space - Jan. 20, Feb. 3, March 2 — A kid’s tour of the Universe, from the planets to stars, galaxies and black holes!

• Daughter of the Stars - April 20, May 11, June 15 — Beautiful Native American stories about the sky and its constellations, gathered from all across the land.

About the Hallstrom Planetarium

For a complete schedule of public shows and events at the Hallstrom Planetarium and to purchase tickets, visit Shows are recommended for adults and children over the age of 10. The air temperature is maintained at 72 degrees; guests may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket.

The planetarium is located on the IRSC Massey Campus at 3209 Virginia Ave. in Fort Pierce. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You may call 800-220-9915 to reserve seats.

Curriculum-based planetarium shows are available to K-12 public, private and home-school classes on weekday mornings from October through May. Teachers may call starting Sept. 5 to book field trips by dialing 772-462-7503.

Tune in weekdays for Skywatch — a daily one-minute look skyward hosted by Planetarium Director Jon U. Bell — at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12:59 p.m. on WQCS 88.9 FM and at 7:59 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. on WQCP 91.9 FM.

IRSC, Hallstrom Planetarium