March 5th, 2017
What do you really know about your own stellar neighborhood? Most people know what block they live on, what the grocery store a few streets over is called, and whether they live on a third, half, or full acre, but what do you know about our cosmic address? Our resident star group is called “The Milky Way Galaxy.” Our solar system sits within one of its spiral arms, but not all galaxies are created equal. Not only are there spiral, but also elliptical ones, not to mention all of the different “Irregular” galaxies out there.
And when was the last time your neighbor’s lot collided and merged with yours? Well, Andromeda (our closest neighboring galaxy) is looking to do just that! When is that happening? And what do we need to do to prepare? I hope you’ll join me in finding out.
Night Vision: Glorious Galaxies is presented by DJ Luna on Thursday evening, March 9th, and Saturday evening, March 11th, in the Hansen Dome Theatre at 6:45pm. Tickets available online or at the Clark Planetarium ticket desk. Free for members.
March 1st, 2017
Gateway to the Stars is our monthly exploration of the sights in the nighttime sky, as well as the news and hot topics in the field of astronomy, from the latest findings from the JUNO probe at Jupiter, to other deep space probes exploring the environment around Earth.
In the night sky, we’ll keep track of the position and motion of the planets. Only the elusive Mercury is out of sight, but the other visible planets (i.e. Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) will be easily visible and each make excellent targets for amateur observers. And as the spectacularly bright stars of the winter sky around Orion begin to slide out of view, we’ll turn to some of the hallmark constellations and deep-sky sights of spring.
One more thing… On the night of the show (March 4th), naked-eye observers in parts of North America will get to observe the Moon blot out the first-magnitude star Aldebaran during the early evening.
Lunar occultations happen several times per year, but its visibility depends on one’s position on Earth, and this one will be nicely visible from Salt Lake City. So, it’s not immensely rare, but it’s a lovely occasional treat, and a great reminder that the sky is a dynamic environment that’s always changing. That’s an easy thing to forget if we just glance at the stars for a few seconds.
Gateway to the Stars is hosted live by Nick Jarvis on Saturday, March 4th at 6:45pm in the Hansen Dome Theater. Tickets are $2, or free for planetarium members. Buy tickets here, or at the Clark Planetarium ticket desk.
February 20th, 2017
In this week’s Night Vision, we’ll explore our solar system’s outer ice giants: Uranus* and Neptune. While the nearer planets are easy for anyone to find in the sky, these distant and still-mysterious planets were only detected after the invention of sufficiently-powerful telescopes.
In this week’s show, we’ll outline the story of how we’ve explored these outer planets, from their first detections in the 18th and 19th centuries, to generations later when each was briefly visited by the Voyager 2 probe on its way out of the solar system.
From those brief encounters, and our distant glimpses from here on Earth, we’ve begun to build a picture of these outer worlds, each with unique characteristics and fascinating moons. You’re invited to join us as we explore our current understanding of Uranus and Neptune. See you there!
*Before the show, all attendees are advised to say the name “Uranus” at least 100 times, or until you stop giggling! … Uranus… Uranus… Urrrr-aaannnn-uuusss…
Night Vision: Uranus & Neptune is presented by Nick Jarvis on Thursday evening, February 23rd, and Saturday evening, February 25th, in the Hansen Dome Theatre at 6:45pm. Tickets available online or at the Clark Planetarium ticket desk. Free for members.
Press ReleasesView All
January 23rd, 2016
November 17th, 2015
May 5th, 2016
Activities & Special Night Vision Presentation | Worlds Without End: The Amazing Variety of Alien Planets
March 21st, 2016
February 7th, 2016
January 21st, 2016
December 29th, 2015