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  • Big public response leads to more planetarium shows


    Filling all available seats, patrons of Sac State's new planetarium look to the skies during one of the facility's early shows after its August opening. (Sacramento State/Rob Neep)

    By Cynthia Hubert

    In response to overwhelming demand for tickets, Sacramento State's new planetarium has added three public shows to its grand opening weekend, Sept. 20-21.

    Tickets to four previously scheduled shows sold out quickly last week after they were posted online, officials said.

    Audiences will be treated to a documentary titled “Two Pieces of Glass,” along with insights and commentary from planetarium director Kyle Watters.

    The planetarium, a centerpiece of the new Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex, offers super-high definition, 360-degree tours of the solar system that feel so real that they can spur motion sickness, Watters said.

    “Two Pieces of Glass” will be shown three times Friday and four times Saturday. The documentary details the history of the telescope, from Galileo’s modification of a child’s spyglass to the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Besides astronomy presentations, future shows may feature geological and historical expeditions.

    For times and tickets for September shows, visit the Hornet Ticket office online.

    Tickets are $5 for adults and free for Sac State students and children 12 and younger. Tickets must be claimed in advance. Visitors can park for free on the top floor of Parking Structure 2 off of State University Drive starting one hour before event starting times. Parking permits are otherwise required.

    Future shows will be posted on websites for the ticket office and the planetarium.

    The planetarium serves as a classroom for Sac State science students, and also will host student groups from kindergarten through high school. Educators can book field trips online.

    Sac State is raising money to keep the planetarium open for years to come. Anyone interested in supporting the building’s science education activities should can do so directly through the CSUS website.

    Donors also may contribute to the planetarium’s “Seat Under the Stars” campaign. Donors who contribute $1,000 to the campaign will have their names engraved on plaques that will be permanently affixed to seats in the building. More information on the campaign can be found online.

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