Planetarium escape

Haley Elizabeth Bollinger, A&E Editor

Make a journey around Santa Rosa Junior College and discover the Planetarium. The 40 feet in diameter and 27 foot-high dome theater is a gem on the SRJC campus. The SRJC Planetarium is one of the biggest space science facilities in the California Community College system. Inside the dome is a Goto model GX-10 star projector with the ability to reproduce the sky onto the dome, revealing the sun, moon, planets and stars in their proper positions.

The spring 2015 semester is booked full of educational and entertaining shows providing students and visitors with a chance to learn about space and science in an engaging and visual environment.

“First Friday Night Sky” is a monthly show. The show gives an overview of the night sky for that particular month and shares details about what planets are presently viewable from Earth and the current phase of the moon. Admission to this show is free with donations gladly accepted and will be shown at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m on Feb. 6, March 6, April 3 and May 1 of the spring 2015 semester.

“Volcanoes” is the first of the regular shows starting this spring. The presentation will deliver insight about what causes volcanoes on Earth and go into detail regarding a range of volcanoes in western North America the Cascade volcanoes and volcanoes on the Hawaiian islands. It will explore evidence of volcanic activity on the moon, Mars, Venus and Jupiter’s Io moon. The show will run Jan. 16 to Feb. 15 every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. General admission is $8 and $5 for children 13 and under, and students with ID.

Find out why the Aurora Borealis happens at the show, “The Sun.” The show will highlight different types of stars: high mass, medium mass and low mass. It will discuss how our low mass star, the Sun, was formed; its stellar life, sunspots, solar flares, the effects the sun has on Earth and how our sun compares to other stars in our galaxy and stars farther in the universe. The show will run Feb. 20 to March 29 with shows every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. General admission is $8 and $5 for children 13 and under, and students with ID.

The SRJC Planetarium also has a returning live concert show, “Astronaut Lullabies.” Sonoma county composers Jim and Kathy Ocean will perform a collection of “space rock.” The songs are astronomy related and choreographed to visuals providing time to contemplate life on Earth and our part in the universe. The show will run at 3 p.m. on Sunday Feb. 8 and March 8. General admission costs $15 and $10 for students.

“I like both subjects of volcanoes and the sun, and the live musical concert under the stars because they feature local talent, Astronaut Lullabies is one of my favorites. But it doesn’t take away from my enthusiasm about regular shows and Friday Night Live shows,” said Planetarium Director Ed Megill.

Find out more information about SRJC Planetarium at www.santarosa.edu/planetarium.