By Tina Horner Clarion University Communication Manager
Since first opening in 1968, the planetarium has offered shows for the benefit of students and community. Providing the area with stellar experiences through three annual events in both the fall and spring semesters, it is known as a treasured asset to the Clarion area.
“Our planetarium is an invaluable resource for community members and school students in the tri-county region,” said Stars Over Clarion producer William Snyder. “To visit another planetarium or science museum, you would have to travel and hour and a half to Pittsburgh.”
Snyder, a graduate student at the university with a bachelor of science in physics and a minor in mathematics, sees the planetarium as an incredible source of both information and entertainment. His aim is to make current celestial happenings understandable by describing them with fun performances.
“As a physics major,” Snyder said, “I quickly realized that the majority of people found physics concepts to be overwhelming or unapproachable; however, I was amazed to discover how many people still found an interest in the stars and could get excited about the wonders of space.”
The Stars Over Clarion series explores constellations, planets and other celestial items the first Thursday of every month. Shows concentrate on the month’s visible elements. All are concluded with an original light and music display provided by Snyder.
“Since I have started doing these shows, the community support has been fantastic. I look forward to entering our second full year of Stars over Clarion presentations,” Snyder said. “We put on public shows to give back to the community and to serve as a cornerstone of science outreach in northwestern Pennsylvania.”
Subsequent Stars Over Clarion presentations will be made Oct. 1, Nov. 5, Dec. 3, Feb. 4, March 3, April 7 and May 5.
A schedule of events is available and updated on the planetarium Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ClarionUniversityPlanetarium. For information call the planetarium hotline at 814-393-2085.