During Penn State Mont Alto’s 2020 Fall Evening Talk Series, faculty will share their expertise in native plant species, the solar system, and the history of airplane navigation. Talks, which will be held monthly during the fall semester, will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held virtually via Zoom. All talks and virtual planetarium shows are free and open to the public.
Usually, presentations in the Penn State Mont Alto Evening Talk Series are followed by a star party (weather permitting). Unfortunately, COVID-19 safety measures make it impossible for star parties to occur, and events in the Penn State Mont Alto portable planetarium must also take a COVID-19-related hiatus due to safety precautions.
To fill the gap, Herrmann will offer three virtual planetarium shows via Zoom on Thursday, Sept. 24, Monday, Oct. 12 and Monday, Nov. 16. Like the evening talks, all three virtual planetarium shows will start at 7:30 p.m.
The shows will use free programs such as Stellarium and Partiview that anyone can download to explore objects in the sky.
Stellarium can simulate the day or night sky from anywhere on earth and users can explore well-known solar system objects – like our moon and the planets – as well as constellations, which are recognized patterns of stars that are frequently named for mythological figures in various cultures. Stellarium can zoom in on individual targets like a virtual telescope.
Partiview allows users to simulate flying through and even outside of our own Milky Way Galaxy, using real astronomical data maintained by the Hayden Planetarium.
Virtual planetarium shows are recommended for community members five years old and older, and questions are encouraged.