Catch a falling star at the UCLA Planetarium

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Catch a falling star at the UCLA Planetarium

Gabi Weiss - Entertainment Editor

Gabi Weiss - Entertainment Editor

Gabi Weiss - Entertainment Editor

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If one is interested in becoming an astronaut for a night or has ever wondered what traveling through the intergalactic world of space would be like, take a trip down to the University of California, Los Angeles Planetarium on Hilgard Ave. every Wednesday night  for a free celestial show.

Built in 1957, the UCLA Planetarium is part of the Mathematical Sciences Building and operates under the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  Using a star projector and seating only 49 people, the planetarium provides an intimate setting for audience members to gaze at the illuminated sky displayed on the dome ceiling.  Projecting 4,000 stars to the sixth magnitude, the planetarium offers shows to the L.A. community as well as introductory astronomy classes and educational groups.

“For those curious about how the universe works, this is a show you definitely want to see,” said planetarium staff member.  “This is a free opportunity to learn and admire our universe.”

At this astronomical show, one is able to journey through space and participate in group discussions about the night sky, planetary phenomena and star constellations.  The show itself lasts for about 30 to 40 minutes.

Each week a different subject is chosen as the main topic of discussion, including the summer sky and observational techniques, unknown life forms in the universe and black holes.  Several topics also relate to information taught in many school science classes, allowing students to experience space firsthand.

After virtually traveling through space, visitors are encouraged to peer into UCLA’s telescopes to view planets, nebulae and star clusters.  These telescopes are a mind-boggling 14 inches long and contain several filters that allow viewers to safely spot globular clusters, galaxies and the Moon from thousands of light-years away.

“This is perfect for anyone interested in taking a trip through our galaxy without leaving the room,” said an anonymous audience member.  “It will be an experience that you will never forget.”

Discover your inner astronaut at this out-of-this-world planetarium.  A visit to the UCLA Planetarium will transport all astronomy fanatics to infinity and beyond!

 

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