Bays Mountain Planetarium Show
"When Venus Transits the Sun" Big Hit Worldwide!
Bays Mountain Planetarium staff are very happy about the worldwide
distribution of their latest planetarium show, "When Venus Transits
the Sun." As of early May 2012, about fifty-six copies of the show
have been distributed to planetaria and showing in 27 states in the US
and 12 countries worldwide. Countries include far-away, exotic places
like Australia, Africa, Sweden, India, China, Russia, Malaysia and
more! The farthest US state to receive the show is Hawaii. Bays
Mountain Park staff joke about being shipped with the show contents to
make sure the package "gets to its destination." But how to fit in
such a small box.?
The months of March and April have been overly busy for planetarium
staff as they have had to, in addition to their regular busy schedule,
receive orders, install the show on hard drives shipped to them, and
send them back. Some theaters needed to have the show processed so it
would work for their systems. This added quite a bit of work as it
can be complex, but was worthwhile to make sure a fellow planetarian
could run the program in their theater.
Bays Mountain's main goal was to create a full-dome show that was
accurate, interesting, educational, and easily used. It also needed
to incorporate a live section to provide activities that all the
audience could participate in. Another goal was to make the show very
affordable. Leasing planetarium shows is very expensive. For most
theaters, a typical show would require a special sponsor to pay for
the license. We priced our show so that anyone could afford it. Even
with the low cost, the world's economy has hit certain planetaria
harder than others. We have provided the show to some at a token
amount and others for free. Though not as prevalent nowadays, there
are still a lot of "classic" theaters out there that cannot project a
full-dome image. As such, a special DVD version of the show had been
created to help these theaters. Park staff, and the City of
Kingsport, is pleased with the idea that our work is being enjoyed
worldwide and providing a solid educational, and fun, experience.
The Venus transit that will occur on June 5th, 2012 will be the
biggest celestial event worldwide this year. This is when we will see
the planet Venus pass in front of, or transit, the sun. It starts at
6:04 p.m. and will continue past sunset. Sunset for East TN is about
8:45 p.m. There will be a free, public viewing with telescopes
including appropriate solar filters, but are waiting for the final
legal signatures before we can announce where it will be. The viewing
will not be at Bays Mountain Park as it won't be able to handle the
expected huge turnout. The viewing will be hosted by the Bays
Mountain Astronomy Club and the Physics Dept. at ETSU. The transit
will become very popular in the news as we approach the date and so
this show will help planetaria to educate and inspire their visitors
about this event and astronomy as a whole.
This show is provided at Bays Mountain Planetarium on the weekends at
1 & 4 p.m. and Tues.-Fri. at 4 p.m. During June, up through the 9th,
it will be shown at 1 & 4 p.m. daily.
The show looks into the rare and magnificent celestial apparition
called a Venus transit. The show covers what a transit is, a famous
transit viewing from the 18th century led by Captain Cook, and
exciting information about the sun and Venus. There will also be a
live component to the show that allows the audience to participate in
two fun activities.
A Venus transit is when the planet Venus is seen passing in front of
the sun. Why so special? Telescope technology in the 18th century
allowed the first opportunity for astronomers to accurately determine
the size of the Solar System. Another reason for being special is
that these transits are rare. Two consecutive transits occur eight
years apart. But, these pairs are separated by 105.5 and 121.5 years
alternatively. The last transit occurred in 2004. The next one will
be June 5, 2012. Diehard optimists will just have to wait 105 years
for the next pair!
Contact Bays Mountain Planetarium Staff, Adam Thanz or Jason Dorfman,
for more details:
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Bays Mountain Planetarium Show "When Venus Transits the Sun" Big Hit Worldwide!
Bays Mountain Planetarium Show