W.A. Gayle Planetarium to host free National Astronomy Day event on April 21

April 16, 2018

The W.A. Gayle Planetarium, operated for the City of Montgomery by Troy University, will host a free National Astronomy Day event on April 21, featuring telescopic viewings of the night sky and presentations inside the planetarium.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the event will get under way at 6:15 p.m. with the presentation “Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope,” which covers the history of the telescope from Galileo’s modifications to a child’s spyglass with the use of two small pieces of glass to the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy.

The program will be followed at 6:30 p.m. by a presentation by guest speaker Dr. Christopher Crockett on the topic “Jupiter/Juno Mission Update.” Crockett, who holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles, was the astronomy writer at Science News from 2014-2017.

Planetarium Director Rick Evans will present the planetarium show “A Tour of the Night Sky” at 7 p.m. Beginning at 8 p.m., weather permitting, participants will have the opportunity to view the setting of Venus, the rising of Jupiter, binary stars and the first quarter moon during telescopic viewings with members of the Auburn Astronomical Society.

Personnel will also be on hand to answer questions about telescopes.

Seating is limited. For additional information, contact the Planetarium at 334-625-4799 or visit the Planetarium on Facebook.