PHM Planetarium &
resources, in-service schedule, and ideas for Let There Be Night are at www.LetThereBeNight.com/teachers.html.
For example, print town mat and enlarge copy to
poster board. Kids color in and discuss features. Do light demo in
dark room with their town mat.
The Let There Be
Night program continues to grow with the support of the PHM Educational
Foundation and other generous supporters.
The PHM Planetarium is awarded a Toyota TAPESTRY grant with the support of other
contributors to create a planetarium program and complementary district-wide
experiment. The Let There Be
Night program will introduce students to outdoor lighting issues and
guide them in assessing the local sky conditions.
February 25 to
Help assess the quality of our night sky and compare local conditions to those
around the rest of the world. The Globe
at Night program is an easy opportunity for citizen-scientists of any age to
participate in this global experiment.
Witness a total lunar eclipse! Telescopes will be set up at Toscana Park
in Mishawaka, with supporting activities for the family. See http://www.nightwise.org/eclipse.htm
for all the action.
The Globe at Night star count will occur March 8-21, when observers from
around the world count the stars of the constellation Orion to suggest their
sky's limiting magnitude, as influenced by light pollution. Kids and adults
alike can send observations to a worldwide data bank and check out the global
results. See http://www.globe.
gov/GaN/for details about this easy activity.
A total lunar eclipse is underway at sunset this date and continues into the
evening. Details and activity ideas are at http://analyzer.depaul.edu/paperplate/lunareclipse07-03-03.htm.
A transit of Mercury will occur on November 8, 2006, for which the PHM
Planetarium will have solar-filtered telescopes available for public viewing,
weather permitting. See mercury.htm for
details on this celestial event.
New definition for planet ousts Pluto, leaving us with eight planets. A
planet is a celestial object that orbits the sun, has sufficient mass for its
self-gravity to overcome rigid-body forces so that it is nearly round, and has
"cleared the neighborhood around its orbit." A separate category
acknowledges dwarf planets. See news at http://skytonight.com/3728231.html.
What is a planet? Proposed definition features elegant criteria: "A planet
is a celestial body that (a) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to
overcome rigid-body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly
round) shape, and (b) is in orbit around a star, and is neither a star nor a
satellite of a planet." See http://skytonight.com/news/home/3580231.html.
www.nightwise.org addresses light
pollution issues, with an emphasis on local Michiana skies.
Schedule Change: Due to Super Bowl XL being the evening of Sunday, February 5, the
planetarium program "It's a Phase We're Going Through" scheduled to
coincide with kickoff is cancelled.
"Countdown to Science Alive!"
features astronomy programs for youths on Sunday, January 29, 2006, at the Centre Township Branch of the Public Library,
1150 E. Kern Rd. (corner of Miami Rd.),
South Bend, IN. Supported by AstroCamp at YMCA Camp Eberhart in Three
Rivers, MI. See countdown.htm.
AstroCamp puts telescopes in the hands of kids at YMCA Camp Eberhart in
Three Rivers, Michigan. For images from past AstroCamp adventures, see http://analyzer.depaul.edu/paperplate/astrocamp05.htm.
A comment on the analemma addresses misconceptions in Indiana's time zone
issues. See timezone.htm.
New PHM Planetarium Sky
Clock allows skygazers to preview anticipated observer conditions.
Special program at P-H-M Planetarium
The big questions of physics will be addressed by a Notre Dame professor at
a very special program at the planetarium.
Thursday, May 19, at 7:00 p.m., a very special event will take place at the
P-H-M Planetarium. Dr. Philip
Sakimoto of the University of Notre Dame's Department of Physics, and formerly
acting director of NASA's Space Science Education and Public Outreach Program,
will give a multi-media presentation entitled "The Universe and Everything
is engaged in a focused effort to find answers to the fundamental questions
about our existence: How did the universe begin and evolve?
How did life arise? Are we alone? Dr.
Sakimoto will review what has been learned, what remains to be answered, and
what future missions are being planned to continue seeking the answers.
one-hour presentation includes spectacular NASA imagery and is designed to be
accessible to young people and general audiences.
It is based on a lecture that Dr. Sakimoto gave earlier this year as part
of the University of Notre Dame's Miller Lecture Series in celebration of the
World Year of Physics.
donation of $5 per person will be collected at the door.
In his 2005
and 2006 Budget Adjustments and Reductions proposal, PHM Superintendent
Robert Howard recommended "eliminating planetarium position effective with
the 2006/2007 school year. However, after public input, that suggestion
appears to have been reversed in May meetings of the PHM Board of Education.
March & April
New lighting ordinance enacted by St. Joseph County Council to impact night
sky. See Lighting Issues at lights.htm.
Addresses light pollution with emphasis on northern Indiana lighting issues.
Spaceweather announces sunspots, aurorae, bright comets, and other highlights
visible to the average casual observer.
Sky & Telescope magazine features observing highlights,
interactive sky charts, and this week's sky at a glance.
Heavens-Above lists up-to-the-minute information on satellite passes,
planetary data, and other current items.
Abrams Planetarium Skywatchers Diary gives a written description each
month of celestial highlights.
Paper Plate Education regularly lists upcoming celestial events and paper
plate activities to accompany them.
The transit of Venus on June 8, 2004, was a spectacle that had not been witnessed
by any human then alive. See http://www.transitofvenus.org/june8.htm
for images from events coordinated by the PHM
Planetarium & Air/Space Museum.
Home page of Penn Harris Madison School Corporation, the school district in
which the PHM Planetarium & Air/Space Museum resides.
Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars.