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New season of adult astronomy classes at Strasenburgh Planetarium to launch Oct. 18

    ROCHESTER, NY—Adult lifelong learners seeking to expand their astronomy knowledge are encouraged to attend a new season of Astronomy for Adults at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) Strasenburgh Planetarium. Sessions blend science, the arts and history for an intellectually stimulating experience. The classes take place on select Wednesdays at 2 p.m. into December.

    Astronomy for Adults participants learn to be experts on the sky. Each program 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. 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 as follows:

    Oct. 18, The Illustrated Year in Review with guest speaker David Bishop

    One of Rochester’s most experienced amateur astronomers shows and explains his amazing collection of the past year’s best imagery from astronomy and space exploration. David searches far and wide for pictures and stories that are unusual and significant. A few pictures may be familiar, but many more will probably surprise you.

    Oct. 25, Connections: Art, Music, Astronomy

    Science and art come together in this favorite presentation. Review early visions of space by Chesley Bonestell and other artists. See how other top-flight artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Ansel Adams made careful sky observation part of their work. Hear the secret to the mysterious sounds of music from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (and sing along if you dare).

    Nov. 1, How to Select and Buy a Telescope

    What kind of telescope is best? How much do telescopes cost? What can you see with the kinds of telescopes regular people can buy? Where do you buy telescopes? These are frequently asked questions at every planetarium at holiday time. Get oriented with some basic information you can use if you’re thinking about a telescope, either as a gift or for yourself.

    Nov. 8, 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 inexpensive software for desktop computers, tablets, and phones. Find out how you can participate in crowd-sourced research projects from your personal computer.

    Nov. 15, Astronomical Imaging: Catching Up to the 1950s with guest speaker Professor Michael Richmond, School of Physics and Astronomy, Rochester Institute of Technology

    Most astronomers today, both professional and amateur, use electronic detectors to take astronomical images. Is there any doubt that our current cameras are bigger and better than any used by scientists decades ago? YES, there is doubt. Let Dr. Richmond try to convince you that, if we choose one reasonable manner of measuring the quality of a detector, it is only now—or, perhaps, in the past five years—that modern electronic detectors have finally caught up to the good old photographic plate.

    Nov. 29, A Short History of Planetariums Including RMSC’s Strasenburgh Planetarium

    The first planetarium was invented in the early 1900’s as an educational exhibit for a museum in Munich, Germany. But the emotional and even spiritual power of a planetarium sky surprised the world. See how the planetarium idea spread from Germany through the cultures of Japan and America, eventually leading to Rochester’s planetarium. Glimpse what new technology could do for our planetarium. Illustrated with many rare pictures.

    Dec. 6, Astro-Preview of 2018

    The coming year opens with a hard-to-see lunar eclipse and includes Jupiter and Saturn in the summer sky, the closest approach of Mars since 2003, and good prospects for the Perseid meteor shower. We’ll crank the gears of the 50-year-old star projector into the future to preview these celestial events. We’ll also look at notable space flight launches that might happen in 2018.

    Astronomy for Adults courses are $7 adults, $6 seniors 62+ or group members, and $5 for RMSC members. No children’s tickets are sold for these programs.

    Register at Groups of 10 or more can speed up check-in by making a group reservation and having one person pay at the box office; call 585.697.1942 with the group leader’s 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.

    For high-resolution images and additional information, contact Mare Millow, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC, 585.697.1944,

    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 Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.