Planetarium Shows, Solar Viewings set for Three Fridays this Summer at UNK

Dan Glomski
Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center education coordinator, 308.382.1820

Nebraska’s newest planetarium will present three Friday evening shows and solar viewings this summer at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Bruner Hall of Science.

The show, titled “The Stars Shine Over Kearney,” will be held at 7 p.m. on June 11, July 16 and Aug. 20. The shows are free and open to the public, and 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 each show.

“There will not be an advance on the tickets,” Glomski said. An encore show will be presented at 8 p.m. if there is an overflow crowd.

“Basically, the 40-minute show will be over what we can see in the sky that night over Kearney,” said Dan Glomski, Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center education coordinator. Before each show, a solar viewing of the sun will take place beginning at 6 p.m. outside the west entrance to Bruner Hall of Science.

“I assure you that this is safe,” Glomski said. “The telescope protects your eyes.”

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

After sunset, visitors will have the opportunity to view the night sky through a telescope at the Seven Hills Observatory. To get to the observatory, visitors take Highway 30 west out of Kearney, turn right (north) on Cottonmill Avenue and continue on past Cottonmill Park. to Ridge Line Road. Turn right (east) on Ridge Line Road until there is a fork in the road. Take the road on the left. The observatory is on the left at the top of the hill. There is no admission charge.