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Science Education Center Staff

College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Karl Kunkel, Dean

Department Chairs/Interim Chairs
Dr. Dixie Smith, Biology
Dr. Petar Dvornic, Chemistry
Dr. David Kuehn, Physics

Dr. Cynthia Ford, Biology
Dr. Irene Zegar, Chemistry
Dr. Charles Blatchley, Physics

Assisting Faculty
Dr. Dixie Smith, Biology
Dr. Carolyn Fehrenbach, Teaching and Leadership
Kathleen Spillman, Teaching and Leadership

L. Russell Kelce Planetaritum and moonL. Russell Kelce Planetarium

October 2016 Program Schedule

Dates Start Times Short Feature Title
Oct 10 6:00 pm Undiscovered Worlds
Oct 10 7:00 pm Undiscovered Worlds
Oct 25 6:00 pm Undiscovered Worlds
Oct 25 7:00 pm Undiscovered Worlds

Public programs consist of a tour of the night sky and a short feature.  Admission is $3 per adult and $2 for students, children and seniors (cash at door). 

Doors close promptly at these start times and entry afterwards is not permitted due to dark adaptation of the audience.

For information on scheduling a private program, contact Sally Nixon at (620) 235-4391.

The L. Russell Kelce planetarium is located at 1702 S. Joplin Street, Pittsburg, KS.

Undiscovered Worlds: The Search Beyond Our Sun

Come along on the search for extrasolar planets and see what astronomers are finding around distant stars.

See what our telescopes and detection techniques are finding out there!

We now know that our Sun is not the only star with orbiting planets. Since the discovery of the first exoplanet in 1995, astronomers have found hundreds more orbiting other stars in our galaxy and beyond. What are they like? Undiscovered Worlds: The Search Beyound Our Sun takes you there to find out!

Planetarium History

The planning of Yates Hall, a Math and Physics building occurred from 1962-1963. The President of the university, Dr. Leonard H. Axe, insisted that the building include a planetarium. There were, however, no funds available to pay for a star projector for the planetarium. In the fall of 1963, Mrs. Gladys Kelce provided funds to pay for the planetarium as a memorial to her husband, L. Russell Kelce. The planetarium opened in July of 1964, and saw 10,000 visitors the first year. Most of these visitors were from schools.

Today, the planetarium still provides programs for schools (elementary, secondary, and university), churches, and other groups, as well as public programs. Schools, churches, groups, etc. can schedule private programs to fit their needs. Each program features a tour of the current night sky and a topical program.

The planetarium has a seating capacity of around 50 individuals and is wheelchair accessible. The projector, a Digitarium Zeta, is capable of projecting stars, constellations, planets, the sun, the moon (and phases), daily motion of the sky, yearly motion of the sky, and motion to view the sky from any latitude on Earth. The planetarium also uses slides and music during shows.