Welcome to Science and Math Education Center &
The Peterson Planetarium!
About the Planetarium
- On the second Saturday of the month, live shows of the night sky are presented accompanied by a full-dome program chosen from a variety of themes such as astronomy, Earth science, biology, history, and mathematics.
- Every Thursday evening from 6:30 to 7:45, a documentary series is presented on the history of U.S. space exploration. This history series is told through actual NASA footage and documentation taken from the Johnson Space center and compiled here on campus to walk the audience through the first signs of rocket development to the Space Race and beyond.
Peterson Planetarium provides ESU students with employment opportunities to work on live show production and video presentations. Now hiring ESU students - if interested, contact Dr. Aber at 620-341-5636 with a resume of experience and letter of interest.
In the News...
- 1-20-2016: 'Planet 9' had been confirmed and the hunt to find it with our telescopes is on.
- 1-28-2016: Annaversary of the Challenger disaster. Remember the crew: Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith A. Resnik, Francis R. Scobee, Ronald E. McNair, Mike J. Smith, Ellison S. Onizuka.
- 9-27-2015: Super Blood Moon Eclipse, overnight September 27th and 28th. Hope you saw it because the next isn't until 2033!!
- 9-21-2015: Re-discover Peterson Planetarium: Explore the renovated planetarium at Emporia State University with a week of special events.
- 9-19-2015: International Observe the Moon Night!
- 3-05-2015: NASA history series premiers! History of space exploration, an ongoing show to repeat every year. Check it out!
- Peterson Planetarium has received a generous award from the Loretto A. Langley Charitable Trust for video programming for children and youth. Read more about it below.
- In 2002, Russia released information on their- at the time part of the Soviet Union -early space exploration missions. Spesifically, we now know that the first dog in space, Laika, was launched on November 3, 1957, and had been a part of a 5 month mission, but had died only 7 hours. However, all of these 'Space Dogs' have been immortalized in pop culture and propoganda. See a number of postage stamps, tins, toys, and other images of these dogs HERE. There're even porcelain jugs crafted in the likeness of the first two sucessful 'canine cosmonauts' HERE.
- NASA's first teacher in space, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, never got to fulfill that very role. She perished on January 28th, 1986 on the Challenger. However, her lesson plans survived as reminence of the six lost space science demonstrations that had been planned to be filmed while in orbit and released once she returned to Earth. These lesson plans have been restored and interpreted, and are now available to fulfill McAuliffe's famous words, "I touch the future, I teach." Find out more HERE.
- On the 20th of January, a paper was published by Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown to confirm the existance of a ninth planet in our solar system. Like Neptune and Uranus, this 'Planet 9' has been identified by it's gravitational influence on it's surroundings. While it hasn't been visually spotted yet, it's estimated to be 700 AU (astronaumical units) from the sun on average and a single year seems to take 10,000 to 20,000 Earth years.
- With a possible new 9th planet in the news and Pluto only demoted to the statu of a 'dwarf planet' in 2006, the definition of a planet has been put into our minds. So what makes a planet? Three things:
- It must directly orbit the sun. It can't orbit something that's orbiting the sun... those are called sattelites.
- It must be large enough to be spherical (like a ball). Asteroids aren't very large, that's why they look like potatos.
- It must produce enough gravity to clear it's obital field. This means it must either pull objects down to it's surface, like a meteorite, or catapult them away like a 'gravity assist' in the movie 'The Martian'. This is where Pluto failed the test... there are too many objects in it's 'personal bubble' that it doesn't 'own'.
About our photography and more...
- Mark Brown is an award winning night sky photographer who provides Peterson Planetarium with technical support and show scripts for live shows and images illustrating phenomena to view in space. He lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania that is a city in the south central part of the state, sandwiched between Interstates 76 and 81. We are featuring his photography with...
- Matt Seimears
- International Space Station Pass - SPOT THE STATION! Sign up to receive notices about when you might see the International Space Station (ISS) streak across the night sky (Go to Here) The alerts will give you the day, time, and path of ISS, so you can watch for 1-4 minutes of this phenomenal orbiting manned space science mobile home!
- 2015 is the Year of the Dwarves or as Dr. Schenk puts it.... Ceres and Pluto Get Their Due! For more, see HERE.
- Ceres craters were featured in the Astronomy Picture of the Day, 18 February 2015 Check it out!