Public Programs for 2015:
On Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m., the general public is invited to attend free programs. These programs are provided as a free service of the Chesapeake Public School System. Topics for these programs change every month and are educational in nature. They are designed to give the individual a general overview of astronomy.

* It is recommended that children below the first grade level not be admitted to the planetarium chamber. All quiet children are welcome.

Reservations:
Due to limited seating, reservations are necessary and may be made by telephoning Chesapeake Public Schools between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. weekdays. (757-547-0153)

Planetarium Programs 2015

January

“Exploring the Night Sky”

An introduction to the world of astronomy and stargazing will be our topic.  We will demonstrate the basic use of a telescope and other optical instruments for observing the night sky.  After the program we will observe through the planetarium’s large telescope (weather permitting).

 February

“The Mysterious  Universe”

We live in a vast universe that appears to stretch into infinity.  How big is the universe and where is it in space?  Are we about to be swallowed up by a giant Black Hole?  Is the Universe going to expand forever? How did space begin?  These and many other mysteries will be addressed during the month of

 March

“Cosmic Symphony”

View the wonders of the night sky while listing to stereophonic music in the planetarium star theater.  Selections of classical and pop music will be played on the planetarium’s powerful sound system while  cosmic visuals dance before your eyes.  This program allows your imagination to wander among the stars.

 April

“The Stars of Spring”

The change of seasons brings new constellations into view.  As the Earth orbits the Sun we observe different stars throughout the year.  In the spring night sky we notice the bright winter stars setting in the western sky while other bright stars are noticed rising in the east.  We will explore the reasons for the seasonal changes in the sky.

 May

“Solar System Tour”

Go back almost five billion years to the birth of the sun and planets.  Review the scientific theory for the beginning of our solar system.  We will explore new discoveries among our planets and moons made by astronomers and  robotic space probes.  

 June

“The Mystery of Stonehenge”

Examine a strange ring of giant rocks built almost 4,000 years ago by a tribe of barbarians.  Some believe it was a pagan temple and others believe it was built as a Stone Age computer for the predictions of astronomical events.  This program will examine the Stonehenge building site and demonstrate some of the astronomical alignments of these massive stones.

July & August*

“The Summer Stars”

The wonders of the summer sky will be the topic of this program.  We will examine the summer constellations and some of the mythology associated with these stars.  The program will also examine some of the celestial objects in the summer sky and demonstrate the methods of locating them with a small telescope or binoculars.

*The planetarium will be operating on a summer schedule. Call the reservations number for show dates and times.

 September

“Night of the Blood Moon”

A lunar eclipse is a wonderful celestial event to observe. There will be a total lunar eclipse visible in your backyard this month.  During a lunar eclipse the full Moon will slowly appear to change colors as it passes into the Earth’s shadow.  The Moon will turn red during the night.  Explore why lunar eclipses occur and what makes the Earth’s shadow red.

 October

“Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico”

The people of Mesoamerica were avid skywatchers. Their knowledge of the night sky was beyond anyone else on Earth at this time in history.  Explore the skies of Central America and learn some of the secrets of the Maya, Aztec and other sky watchers of Mexico.

 November

“The Winter Sky”

The winter sky offers some of the brightest stars visible from earth. The constellations of winter are easy to identify and the mythology associated with them offers some of the best star stories found among the stars.  Explore the crisp clear winter night sky this month in the planetarium star theater.

 December

“The Christmas Star”

During the month of December the Chesapeake Planetarium sky will be set back more than 2000 years to the date of 8 B.C.  Visitors will view the planets and stars as they were long ago.  We will search the night sky for the story of a star that marked the coming of the Christmas season.  We will also explore some of the astronomical possibilities suggested for the most famous star in history.