The San Juan College Planetarium’s AstroFriday presentation for Friday, March 16, is The Astronomy of Harry Potter. Show times are at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.
This live sky show and tour of the heavens identifies astronomical objects whose names appear in the popular Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling and its corresponding movies. Did you know that the character of Sirius Black (Harry’s godfather in the series) was named for the brightest star in the night sky as seen from Earth? That is also the chief star in the constellation of the Great Dog, the animal that Sirius could morph into in the stories. He isn’t the only character with an astronomical name. You will learn MANY of the characters’ names in the real sky with your own eyes.
Summer sky maps will be given out while supplies last. There is no admission charge, and no reservations are taken or required, but there is a maximum seating capacity of 60 in the Planetarium, so seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to preserve dark-adaption, no one will be admitted late once the show has started.
Due to construction of the West Classroom Complex, entrance and exit to the Planetarium is through the outside door from the courtyard between the Planetarium and the Little Theatre.
Weather permitting, a free public stargaze with telescopes will be held at 8:30 p.m. in the courtyard between the Planetarium and the Little Theatre, after the last show. The Stargaze will last a maximum of one hour.
There is no capacity limit for the stargaze. Plan to view the colorful double star Gamma Andromedae and the binary North Star, Polaris. If weather conditions are particularly favorable, participants may also see deep-sky objects such as the “E.T. Cluster” in Cassiopeia, the Seven Sisters star cluster, the majestic Orion Nebula, and the Beehive Cluster in Cancer.
For further information, call David Mayeux at 505-566-3361. The Planetarium show schedule and other information is available online at www.sanjuancollege.edu/community/departments/planetarium.