|Shooting for the stars|
|Written by Jennifer Novoseletsky, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Wednesday, 12 September 2012 17:31|
Students and the general public will have the opportunity to witness re-enactments of cosmic catastrophes at the ISU Planetarium
Running through Nov. 10, the Planetarium will be presenting Cosmic Catastrophes every Friday at 7:30 p.m. and every Saturday at 2 p.m.
"It's a multimedia-style show and it's set in our planetarium dome," Tom Willmitch, planetarium director in the physics department, said. "It's set in a science-fiction setting."
The Planetarium is located under the white-domed roof at the intersection of School Street and College Avenue at the east wing of Felmley Hall of Science.
According to the Planetarium website, dangers such as global pollution and asteroids affecting the Earth will be a few of the many focuses in this program.
“We look at possible fates to the Earth,” Willmitch said. “Things that can happen, the effects of pollution of the world, where … meteor[s] … can strike the Earth.”
“Then we look at what’s happened in the past with regard to that,” he added. “That may be the reason that the dinosaurs are no longer with us.”
Other topics such as global warming, aliens and doomsday prophesies are topics of discussion, and audiences will hear about these ideas.
Studying cosmic catastrophes is always of importance, Willmitch explained. There are a number of possibilities that the public should be aware of.
“It’s a topic that I think is always timely,” he said. “There’s potential for an asteroid to strike the Earth or a comet or something like that. There is risk … even if it’s small.”
Cosmic Catastrophes covers problems from the past, the present and what may come in the future.
According to Willmitch, he came up with the idea to have the show presented at ISU’s Planetarium.
“This was a show that was originally produced elsewhere and then we tailored it to our dome,” he said.
ISU’s Planetarium runs programs throughout the year. The holiday show will be in November and the spring semester will feature a show on galaxies, Willmitch added.
The purpose of these shows is to demonstrate to the audience the importance of being attentive and knowing what to do and how to help our environment.
“The first step is awareness,” Willmitch said. “With people more aware, funding for research programs to do surveys on asteroids across the orbit of the Earth [will increase],” he explained.
The weekly show is open to the public. Tickets are available in the Planetarium gift shop 20 minutes before the show begins. Seats are limited and the show is first come first serve.
For more information call (309) 438-5007 or visit www.Phy.Ilstu.edu/planet.html.