Every Sunday this fall semester, the Ric Edelman Planetarium will show “Rising Star.” The hour-long show highlights the South African facilities that house some of the most technologically advanced telescopes. These telescopes have shown scientists objects in space that would otherwise be unimaginable without them.
The show began with curator Charles Hughes projecting the night sky above to show what people don’t usually see due to light pollution. Being able to see the stars so clearly and having the ability to zoom in on the recreation of our solar system is a completely captivating experience.
The public was able to see constellations such as Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, Sagittarius, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, O’Rien and many more. In addition, we were able to enlarge photos of Jupiter and Saturn, two planets that often appear as dots in the night sky, and of course, the moon.
Additionally, viewers were able to see Cigar Galaxy (Messier 82), Bode’s Galaxy (Messier 81), and learn about a multitude of stars, moons, planets, and even black holes.
Soorya Baliga, a first-year student of psychological sciences and mathematics, came to watch the show and shared how it felt to go through this immersive experience.
“I thought it was really beautiful,” Baliga said. “I liked how they showed us today’s night sky before showing the movie because it helped us ground ourselves and what we understand about the universe today, and then the movie showed us what we will understand in the future.”
“Rising Star” is narrated by Katlego Maboe, directed by Telmo dos Reis and executive produced by Daniel Cunnama.
“It’s a really interesting show because it addresses not only the developments that are happening in that area, but also the culture and wildlife of the entire region, which is really interesting,” Hughes said.
He began by showing a description of a popular theory about how stars were made. It was a moving story that portrayed a young woman spewing dust particles into the sky, creating the stars to guide her tribesmen to her home.
The movie then goes on to show the most powerful radio telescope located in the southern hemisphere, known as MeerKAT. It also showed unrestricted images that had been captured by the 10-meter-class Large Southern African Telescope. The images captured were beyond amazing and if looking up at the night sky wasn’t enough to convince you to watch this show, these images are well worth it.
You have the opportunity to learn how multi-wavelength, multi-messenger astronomy works, and what it means for the future of space knowledge. It was really fascinating to gain a new understanding of how different types of technology can work together to create better and clearer images.
Overall it was a beautiful immersive experience that any astronomy lover should see. With tickets priced at $3 for Rowan students and $5 for non-students, it’s an inexpensive way to enjoy an enjoyable hour of entertainment.
The Edelman Planetarium doesn’t stop at shows about space. They also feature a multitude of different types of shows, including laser light shows tuned to the music of specific artists. In addition, there are programs for families and others on the moon.
take a look at her website and check out their holiday schedule, which will feature laser light experiences paired with popular Christmas songs and stargazing in the winter sky.
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