DuPont Planetarium Update

New planetarium brochures are now available! The brochure includes the schedule of public shows and special events from August 2007 through August 2008 along with descriptions of the 15 programs offered throughout the year at the planetarium. One of these is a new program, “To the Moon and Beyond,” which is being developed for delivery in May 2008 to help celebrate NASA’s 50 years of space exploration.

Public shows are normally presented during the first and third weekends of the month on Friday and Saturday evenings. Weather permitting, the RPSEC observatory is open after evening shows so that visitors can view celestial objects through the Bechtel Telescope with the aid of an amateur astronomer. Early Bird shows are presented at 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. These early shows are cheaper and provide an opportunity to visit the planetarium during daylight.

Private shows can be arranged by calling 803-641-3769. We have done private shows for clubs, scouts, churches, businesses, and birthday parties, and we are happy to work with new groups who have special requests. During 2007, we were delighted to do a “show for two” in which Steve Prescott proposed to Darlene Tower. When she said, “Yes,” we helped them celebrate with a Digistar display of fireworks! Another unique show in 2007 included a demonstration of celestial navigation for a group of sailors. Two experienced sailors showed how to use a sextant to measure angles to bright stars and planets; they explained how those numbers and a set of tables could be used to determine latitude. All who participated in that program were thankful for the invention of GPS!

The planetarium staff hopes that each of you will visit us this year. Our goal is to inspire others to explore the majesty of the heavens!