March 31, 2016

New Adult Astronomy Classes at RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium

ROCHESTER, NY—Adult lifelong learners seeking an intellectually stimulating and provocative program blending science, the arts and history are invited to a new series of weekday afternoon programs at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) Strasenburgh Planetarium. Each Astronomy for Adults session lasts about an hour, divided between a rich audio-visual presentation and a tour of current stars, planets and constellations using the Planetarium’s giant star projector. The classes, which started in February, continue on Wednesdays at 2pm through April.

Community members are invited to attend several sessions as they learn to be experts on the sky. Regular presenters are Steve Fentress, director, Strasenburgh Planetarium, RMSC and Paul Krupinski, Planetarium show presenter and proprietor of the Buffalo-based Mobile Dome Planetarium. Class topics and other details are included below:

April 6 – Mysteries of History: Where Did We Get Our Constellations?

Modern star maps have constellation names mostly in Latin and individual star names mostly in garbled Arabic or Greek. A few of today’s constellations are probably among the oldest of all surviving human creations. How did this happen? Dive into the complex and multicultural history of the names we use to find our way around the sky today.

April 13 – Digital Astronomy for Everyone

Astronomy has always been one of the most satisfying things to do with personal computing devices. In this program, take a tour of some of the best websites and free or cheap software for desktop computers, tablets and phones. Find out how you can participate in crowdsourced research projects from your personal computer.

April 20 – Selecting a Landing Site on Mars with guest lecturer Dr. Nick Warner, SUNY Geneseo

Dr. Warner is a member of the team charged with the heavy responsibility of choosing a landing site for NASA’s next Mars landing mission, Mars InSight. Hear how his team spent four years working through the requirements: a particular type of surface for the science instruments to work, particular conditions of atmosphere and sunlight for the lander to operate and a safe place where the craft will not come down on a rock and flip over!

Costs for the Astronomy for Adults courses are $7 Adults, $6 Seniors 62+ or group members and $5 RMSC Members. Register at www.rmsc.org. Groups of ten or more can speed up check-in by making a group reservation and having one person pay at the box office. Call the RMSC group scheduling experts at 585.697.1942 with the group leader name and the number of people in the group. If multiple members of the group will be using wheelchairs, let the group schedulers know so they can arrange space for a good view.

The complete Planetarium show schedule and other details are available at www.rmsc.org. For high-resolution images and additional information, contact Amanda Bayer, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC at 585.697.1962 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit www.rmsc.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.


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