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Planetarium show focuses on dark matter

Planetarium show focuses on dark matter

The mystery of the missing 80 percent of the mass of the universe is the subject of a new planetarium show this month in Pittsburg State University’s L. Russell Kelce Planetarium.

The mystery of the missing 80 percent of the mass of the universe is the subject of a new planetarium show this month in Pittsburg State University’s L. Russell Kelce Planetarium.

“Dark: Understanding Dark Matter,” will be shown at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10 and 17 in the Kelce Planetarium on the PSU campus. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children, paid at the door. Seating is limited to 50.

The search for dark matter is the most pressing astrophysical problem of our time – the solution to which will help us understand why the universe is as it is, where it came from, and how it has evolved over billions of years.

“Dark” is a 2012 production featuring Alan Duffy, a young astronomer from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at the University of Western Australia.

In the movie, Duffy introduces viewers to the idea of dark matter, why astronomers think it exists and explains why radio astronomy is so well suited to its discovery. The movie includes immersive visualizations of dark matter evolution created on some of the world’s fastest supercomputers and a musical score by Cathie Travers. “Dark” was directed by Peter Morse.

The L. Russell Kelce Planetarium, opened in 1964, uses a new Digitarium Zeta projector, 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. In addition to serving PSU students studying astronomy, the planetarium offers public shows and programs for schools and other groups.

For more information, contact the PSU Physics Department at 620-235-4391.

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