Indiana University of Pennsylvania will open the 2023–24 academic year’s planetarium shows on September 25 with “Awaiting the Darkening.”

The show will be offered at 7:00 p.m. in the IUP Planetarium, located on the east side of Weyandt Hall (the side away from the Oak Grove). 

Three people in the IUP Planetarium looking up and pointing at stellar imagesSolar eclipses are happening over the US, one this fall and another next spring. This show will provide information about solar eclipses, including where they can be seen and how to view them safely.

Many Nations, One World: The Moon” will be presented October 25 at 7:00 p.m. This program will focus on the many different moon exploration missions being done by a number of countries.

Each show is about 40 minutes. Ken Coles, geoscience faculty member and planetarium director, is the program presenter.

Coles is the author of The Atlas of Mars: Mapping its Geography and Geology, published in 2019, and is a co-author of Bennu 3-D: Anatomy of an Asteroid, published in July. The Atlas of Mars won the 2020 PROSE Award in the cosmology and astronomy category.

His new book includes a number of three-dimensional stereoscopic photos of the asteroid and an OWL Stereoscopic Viewer. These stereoscopic images were created by British musician and Queen’s lead guitarist Sir Brian Harold May. The book tells the story of NASA’s seven-year OSIRIS-REx mission to collect samples of the Bennu asteroid and return them to Earth, which will happen on September 24.

The planetarium series is sponsored by the IUP Department of Geography, Geology, Environment, and Planning and the John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Doors open 15 minutes before each show. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis. Individual reservations cannot be accepted, but anyone wishing to bring groups of 10 or more should call 724-357-5626 or 724-357-2379 in advance.

Weather permitting, after the show telescope observing of the night sky (evening shows) or sun (daytime shows) will be available.