UNK Planetarium to Present Series of Shows Beginning Friday, Jan. 15

Dr. Jose Mena-Werth
(308) 865-8283

UNK- Nebraska’s newest planetarium will present “Planetarium on Parade,” the first in a series of evening shows, beginning Friday, Jan. 15, in the University of Nebraska at Kearney Bruner Hall of Science.

The show, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. and last approximately 45 minutes. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. An encore show will be presented at 8 p.m. if there is an overflow crowd.

“All shows are free-of-charge, however, we will graciously accept any donation of dry or canned goods for the local food pantry,” said Dr. Jose Mena-Werth, planetarium director.

The UNK planetarium is a fully accessible 60-seat public science theater that has replaced an older facility located in the Bruner Hall basement.

“The UNK planetarium is currently the most modern planetarium between Chicago and Phoenix,” Dr. Mena-Werth said.

“‘Planetarium on Parade’ takes a behind-the-scenes look at the new UNK planetarium,” he said. “During the show, we explain how the projectors and sound systems are used to produce a star show.

“Each of the 6,000 stars is individually projected on the dome with fiber-optic technology. 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.”

A $600,000 NASA grant helped fund the new planetarium, which is one of the most advanced theaters in the Great Plains. According to Dr. Mena-Werth, the planetarium features a state-of-the-art projector, the Zeiss Skymaster ZKP4.

Beginning in February, the planetarium will present a second show, “Star Stories.” 

“‘Star Stories’” deals with the stories the constellation tell us,” Dr. Mena-Werth said. “We will explore both the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere constellations.”

The UNK planetarium schedule is as follows:

Jan. 22
– “Planetarium on Parade.” 
Feb. 5
– “Star Stories.” 
Feb. 12
– “Star Stories.” 
Mar. 5
– “Planetarium on Parade.” 
Mar. 12
– “Planetarium on Parade.” 
April 2
– “Star Stories.” 
April 9
– “Star Stories.” 
May 7
– “Planetarium on Parade.” 
May 14
– “Planetarium on Parade.”