May 13, 2010

Last Friday, I finished Biddly-duty early…at 10 past 6, I left for the long walk (well…walk would take about 45 to 50 min, but I wanted to amble, looking for birds on the way, so that took me an hour)…to the St.Louis Planetarium for

this event that combined a Planetarium show and telescope viewing

The walk was most enjoyable, and I reached the Planetarium, the architecture of which I always enjoy:

o'donnell planetarium 070510

On special days, there's a red ribbon around the narrow part of the hyperbola! I don't know, however, how they handle accumulation of snow/rain on top of the building... A new sculpture of the ascent of Man had been put up outside the building: ascent of man planetarium 070510 Here's an overview of the program, just outside the entrance: the sky tonight 070510 While everyone waited, this volunteer engaged the children by cellotaping various constellations on to the backs of old film cases, and then pushing pins through each star. When the children held up the case to the light, they could see the constellation as points of light, as they would in the night sky! stars in film boxes 070510 What a lovely way to take care of the waiting time! When the doors opened, everyone filed inside. This planetarium does not have the usual seats; there are some folding chairs, but visitors put down these mats and lie down on them to watch the stars (I was wondering how many would nod off during the show!) mats in the planetarium 070510 The planetarium projectors (from the very first Carl Ziess Jena projector I saw in the planetarium in Kolkata where I grew up) look like giant ants: planetarium projector 070510 The show was fascinating, and afterwards, I found that telescopes had been set up both in the archery grounds near the planetarium and one was there, right in front of the entrance...this one is an 8" telescope, and it was lovely to see first Venus, and then Saturn and its rings, through it! through the telescope 070510

However, scudding clouds did not bode well for too long a session and I rode home with D, contented with my evening!