In honor of International Planetarium Day on Sunday, March 11, South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo) is partnering with the Montauk Observatory to present a trio of complimentary StarLab showings.
“A universal timeless experience is to look at the night sky. It is in a way to touch eternity with your eyes and imagination,” reflected Andi Pisacano, artist and educator at Wish upon a StarLab, who will present the three programs. “In the celebration of legends from different cultures we experience wonder and appreciation.”
During the exceptional 30 minute experiences, the night sky will be projected on the planetarium’s domed ceiling and Pisacano will enchant and inspire attendees with the ancient tales, myths, and legends that still commonly used to track the locations of the stars at night.
“Planetarium shows are wonderful educational experiences, especially for children, as they are interactive and make learning fun. Montauk Observatory is grateful to Andi Pisacano for volunteering her time as a presenter,” shared Donna L. McCormick, Montauk Observatory Executive Director. “We are also delighted to co-sponsor this and other events with the South Fork Natural History Museum; together we cover the Universe–earth, sea and sky!”
The StarLab programs will take place at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.
International Planetarium Day originated in Italy in 1995. The International Planetarium Society event was founded to highlight the importance of planetariums. As light pollution around the world grows, the absence of dark skies makes its harder and harder to view the stars. Planetariums offer planetariumgoers the chance to not only see the night sky without any artificial light interference, but also connect the public with experts who can expand their knowledge of the universe. International Planetarium Day’s mission is to “inform the public about the existence of planetariums, define their role and why they exist, educate the public about the problem of light pollution, and promote international exchanges and collaborations between planetariums in different countries.”
Admission to the StarLab Programs is free, however, a reservation is required. Those that attend without a reservation will be charged the Museum’s admission fee, which is free for members and children ages 2 and under, $10 for adults and $7.50 for children ages 12 to 3.
In addition to the International Planetarium Day programming, Montauk Observatory is hosting The Hunt for Dark Matter, presented by Professor Rouven Essig, on Friday, March 9 at Montauk Library (871 Montauk Highway, Montauk). The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. and cover the evidence for dark matter, as well as the exhilarating scientific journey to determine its identity.
SoFo and Montauk Observatory will once again partner on Friday, March 16 for their monthly New Moon Star Parties at SoFo. The hour long event will began at 7 p.m. – when attendees will hear about stargazing and star-hopping from an Observatory expert, who will also share general tips for observing. Then, participants will head to the field to gaze through telescopes lent by the Observatory.
South Fork Natural History Museum is located at 377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton. For more information, call 631-537-9735 or visit sofo.org. For more information about the Montauk Observatory, visit www.montaukobservatory.com.