Dr. Jose Mena-Werth
UNK– “The Search for New Earths” is the topic for the new planetarium show for the fall season at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
“The Search for New Earths,” which will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday (Oct. 15), will focus on the current NASA mission called Kepler. The presentation in Nebraska’s newest planetarium, which is housed in the UNK Bruner Hall of Science, is free and open to the public; however, donations to the local food pantry are accepted. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6 p.m. the day of the show.
“The goal of the Kepler mission is to find the Holy Grail of planetary science–locating other Earth-sized planets orbiting Sun-like stars,” said Dr. Jose Mena-Werth, UNK planetarium director.
“There will not be an advance on the tickets,” Dr. Mena-Werth said. An encore show will be presented at 8 p.m. if there is an overflow crowd.
“The UNK planetarium is currently the most modern planetarium between Chicago and Phoenix,” Dr. Mena-Werth said. The UNK planetarium is a fully accessible 60-seat public science theater. A $600,000 NASA grant helped fund the new planetarium, which features a state-of-the art projector, the Zeiss Skymaster ZKP4.
“Each of the 6,000 stars is individually projected on the dome with fiber-optic technology,” Dr. Mena-Werth said. “The space and time functions of the projector are completely computer controlled. We can navigate to any place in the world, and any date in the past or future, with the push of a button.”