March 07, 2016 10:00AM
A new show, “Moons: Worlds of Mystery,” opens today (Monday) in the L. Russell Kelce Planetarium at Pittsburg State University. The show, from the Charles Hayden Planetarium of the Museum of Science in Boston, explores the many and varied satellites that orbit the planets and event some asteroids in our solar system, delves into what they look like and what they contribute to our knowledge.
“Moons: Worlds of Mystery” starts with our own Moon and explores its birth in a violent collision between infant Earth and a Mars-sized object some 4.5 billion years ago. The show turns next to the incredible diversity of moons around Jupiter, including the four discovered by Galileo Galilei and recently explored by sophisticated modern spacecraft.
Viewers will learn, by looking at moons around Saturn, that their gravity and interactions govern phenomena such as tidal force and planetary ring structure. Perhaps most intriguing is the exploration of moons that could support extraterrestrial life.
The show then explores Titan’s liquid oceans of ethane and methane, and encourages viewers to reevaluate just what conditions are suitable for life.
Finally, the exploration takes the viewer to the outer solar system, with the discovery of moons orbiting asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects like Pluto. They show the incredible diversity of worlds, both large and small, that orbit the Sun.
“Moons: Worlds of Mystery,” will be shown at 6 p.m. on March 7 & 21. Another program, “From Earth to the Universe,” will be shown at 7 p.m. on the same days. In addition to the featured films, planetarium programs also include a tour of the current night sky.
Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for students, children and seniors (cash at door). Doors close promptly at the start times and entry afterwards is not permitted. For more information, call the PSU Department of Physics at 620-235-4391.