Deep Space Is As Close as Nacogdoches
The lyrics “The stars at night are big and bright … the prairie sky is wide and high … deep in the heart of Texas” are ever more meaningful with the unveiling of the new planetarium at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), Nacogdoches.
The 114-seat, 50-foot-high dome is part of the new Ed and Gwen Cole STEM Building and the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy. It replaces a 32-foot-tall planetarium with older technology.
The new digital system can project the night sky of stars and planets as seen from anywhere on the Earth with digital precision. Full-dome shows use a combination of stunning visual effects, vivid colors, dramatic motion and powerful surround sound to immerse audiences on thrilling voyages of discovery.
“The SFA planetarium is like a simulated space ship staffed with knowledgeable tour guides so visitors can explore the wonders of the universe,” says Ed Michaels, planetarium director.
Besides augmenting its own students’ studies with the planetarium, the university offers public shows on Saturdays at 3, 4:30 and 7 p.m. Shows running through January 26 are Secrets of the Cardboard Rocket (children’s matinee), The Secrets of Gravity and Dark Universe. Shows scheduled for February through March 9 are Secrets of Gravity and Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity.
Admission ranges from $3 to $6. For more information, visit www.planetarium.sfasu.edu.