Special to the Herald
NEW BRITAIN - Looking for some free, fun science? Look no further than Central Connecticut State University’s planetarium.
The Copernican Observatory and Planetarium opened its doors in the 1970s, but it usually isn’t open to the public. Large groups need to book in advance to see the stars. Students at CCSU and other local schools come through to do a little star-gazing from time to time. But for the general public, free shows are available on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
The shows under the dome last about an hour and a half. In the first part of the program, staff members point out major constellations and the visible planets. The second half centers on a theme, which, for today’s show, will be lightning and thunderstorms.
The Saturday program starts at 8 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The planetarium accommodates 90 people.
After observing the universe inside the planetarium, guests are invited onto the roof afterward. If skies are clear, visitors can peer through telescopes.
Early arrivals can enjoy physics demonstrations, which start at 7:30 p.m.
On Monday, Aug. 7, a partial lunar eclipse will take place. While the planetarium might be the best place to view it, there may not be enough staff available, according to Planetarium Director Craig Robinson.
With students off on summer break, there are a lot fewer people around the campus, but Robinson remains hopeful that an eclipse event can take place at CCSU.
The planetarium is located in CCSU’s Copernicus Hall, which is between 245 and 175 Paul Manafort Drive. Parking is available free in the Copernicus parking garage.
If You Go:
What: CCSU Planetarium Show
When: Saturday, June 17 at 8 p.m.
Where: Copernicus Hall, between 245 and 175 Paul Manafort Drive in New Britain
Parking: Free, in Copernicus Parking Garage