Friday, March 28, 2014

Planetarium


Photo credit: alexfrance from morguefile.com

If you flip this picture so the moon cups the other way, you'll have this morning's moon on the way to work. I love the moon.

The sky to the east was just beginning the barest lightening of color to herald the sunrise. And I got to thinking about how, at the end of a program at the planetarium, they lighten the horizon, showing off the silhouettes of buildings and trees, letting the sun rise on a new day. I love planetariums.

It's been a long time since I've gone to a program. Technology and what we know about space has changed. (Yeah, it's been a long, LONG time.) Planetarium programs have changed, too, to show us this new knowledge and far distant aspects of space in brilliant, simulated colors. 

But today I hunger for an old-fashioned planetarium show. The voice from behind the control panel explaining the sights overhead. The stars in simple glory as they appear here in Nebraska. Or in South America. Or the North Pole. A simple light points out each star as the sparkling dots are connected to create animals, heroes and gods that peoples named so long ago. Then it's fun to see an image overlaid--although my imagination has no problem performing that task itself! And how the stars move in a night, a month, a year.

And yes, I'm wishing for the gentle music signaling the sun.

There's a planetarium at the museum in my home town. So we had plenty of school field trips and summer excursions there. Perhaps that's where my love of space, stars and the moon began. How about you? Do you have any favorite planetarium memories?