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BCC Planetarium presents Smartphone Astronomer
Dr. Tim Folkerts demonstrates a safe way to view the solar eclipse, Aug. 21 at Barton Community College. The planetarium director will host a series of free programs this fall. - photo by File photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

The Barton Planetarium will host “The Smartphone Astronomer” at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, in the Barton Community College Planetarium located in the Science Building.
This event presents the opportunity to learn how modern technology like smartphones can provide powerful tools to explore the night sky and learn about the universe. This will be a hands-on event led by Planetarium Director Dr. Tim Folkerts who will demonstrate apps by projecting his smartphone screen on the dome for the audience to see. Attendees are encouraged to follow along with their own devices.
Campus Wi-Fi will be available to download the apps being demonstrated. However, it is suggested participants download the apps ahead of time.

Some of the included apps are: Star Chart (Free on iOS & Android), The NASA App (Free on iOS & Android), Stellarium ($2.50 iOS & Android, Free on PC) and Heavens-Above (Free on Android and their website).
Folkerts said he hopes this will help the community enjoy the fun hobby of stargazing and astronomy.
“I thought this would be an interesting topic because so many people have smartphones,” he said. “This gives them a new cool way to use those phones.”

Upcoming planetarium shows
The following shows, apart from the Christmas show, will run from 7-8 p.m.:
Oct. 9 – “Saturn - The Ring World” and “Great Planet Adventures”
Oct. 23 – “Journey to a Billion Suns”
Nov. 6 – “Dinosaur Prophecy” and “Body Code”
Nov. 27 – “Search for Life in the Universe” and “X-Planets”
Dec. 10 – Christmas Show: “Star of Bethlehem” at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.
For more information, please contact Planetarium Director Dr. Tim Folkerts at or (620) 792-9320.