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BCC Planetarium announces fall 2018 events schedule

The Barton Community College Planetarium will host nine free evening programs this fall, including an all-new line-up of movies never shown there before.

The following programs will run from 7-8 p.m. on Monday evenings: 

Aug. 20 – A Tour of the Universe: To kick off this year’s planetarium event, learn about the night sky with the film “From Earth to the Universe.” A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. Conclude the evening with a live tour of the universe, starting from the familiar world around us, zooming up through the solar system and out to the farthest reaches of the universe!  

Aug. 27 – Mayan Double-Header: First, attendees will dive into a Mayan world of knowledge about the importance of the orientations of the temples in relation to the movement of some stars like the Sun, the Moon and Venus. Then, explore the Prophecies of the Mayan astronomers with “Fate of the Maya.” Visit the Classic Mayan cities of Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Tikal and Palenque to discover how the Maya aligned their temples to watch their sky gods and used interlocking calendars to record the past and predict the future.

Sept. 10 – Fall Stars: Attendees will construct their very own star chart and take a tour of the fall night sky.

Sept. 17 – Four Planets!: For the first time in Kansas, see the film “The Planets!” This movie takes viewers on an exciting tour of the Solar System that looks at each planet as well as Solar System formation and extra-solar planets. The evening will also include a time to learn about the planets visible this fall and stargazing, weather permitted.

Sept. 24 – Science Magic: Enjoy a night of various “magic tricks” based on physics and chemistry. Audience members will get a chance to spin, catch, mix, pour and otherwise participate in various demonstrations. Fun for science enthusiasts of all ages!

Oct. 1 – TBA

Oct. 8 – Biology Double-Header: Explore the human body’s cells on a nanoscale with “Microcosm.” Then discover Earth has intelligent life with “Lucy’s Cradle.” What are the required conditions to foster life? What combination of environmental variation and stability is required for life to begin and to become intelligent? All these questions and more will be answered!

Oct. 15 – Solar System Double-Header: First, travel back to the beginning of time and experience the birth of the Sun. Discover how it came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it and how its energy will one day fade away with “Sunstruck.” Next, discover the evolution of humankind’s understanding of the universe with “The Making of a Star and Her Entourage.”  

Oct. 22 – Light!: Begin the evening with “Seeing! A photon’s journey across space, time and mind” as viewers will follow the journey of a single photon as it is produced in a distant star, before traveling across the vast expanse of space to land on someone’s retina. This full-dome planetarium show explores some of the fascinating processes of the cosmos, from astrophysics to the biology of the eye and brain. Funded through a generous grant from ZEISS, the show is narrated by astronomer and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

For more information, contact Planetarium Director Dr. Tim Folkerts at or 620-792-9320.