CIHR Hallstrom Planetarium Starlight Series Explores the Origin of the Star of Bethlehem

Look through telescopes and explore space in the only planetarium on the Treasure Coast.

the Hallstrom Planetarium at Indian River State College Fort Pierce launches its new season in October with its “Starlight Series” broadcasts, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) conferences, “Kid Space” series and Astronomy Day.

The planetarium features an immersive 360-degree OmniStar digital projection system and a state-of-the-art Spitz automated planetarium projector used to recreate the sky, sun, moon and planets among the stars on the domed ceiling 40 feet.

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Scroll down for details on all events.

Starlight Series

The Starlight Series shows begin at 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Friday and at 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. They are recommended for adults and children 10 years and older. The air temperature is kept at 72 degrees, so bring a sweater or a light jacket.

Most planetarium shows cost $ 5. Tickets are available at the McAlpin Fine Arts Center box office, 3209 Virginia Ave., Fort Pierce, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by calling 800-220-9915 or online on

Saturn, jewel of the heavens: November 19-20

  • This fall, Saturn will be visible in the evening sky. Celebrate the planet as the display showcases its mysterious rings, ice moons, and largest moon, Titan, with lakes of liquid nitrogen.

Star of wonder: 3-4 Dec and 10-11 Dec.

  • Who was the mysterious star that guided the mages? Could it be a comet, a meteor or a supernova? How could an astronomer explain it? Find out as the planetarium travels in time over more than 2,000 years to recreate the skies of Judea. This popular presentation has been a family vacation tradition since 1993.

The planets: January 7-8, February 11-12, March 4-5

  • In a recorded narration, Kate Mulgrew – famous for her roles in “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Orange is the New Black” – leads a grand tour of the solar system. Explore the surface of Mars, the dangers of the asteroid belt, the cold rings of stormy gas planets, and features of other solar systems.

Star Girl: April 8-9, May 13-14, June 10-11

  • Enjoy a tale of Native American stories about the sky and its stars. History and folklore combine for a unique storytelling event that seeks to explain the natural world from the appearance of the bright star Arcturus to the nature of the Milky Way to the origins of Earth, moon and sun .

Afternoon STEAM conferences

Afternoon STEAM Lectures are free 45-minute presentations on specific topics:

The Secret Life of Fish: 6 p.m. November 6

  • Learn about coral reefs and the behavior of reef fish as Dr.William Tyler, professor of biological sciences at CIHR, shares his experiences gained during years of studying the marine environment of the Florida. Hear a marine biologist’s take on ‘Finding Nemo’: What’s Right and What’s Wrong in the Movie.

From the Big Bang to puppies, the history of chemistry: 6 p.m. January 22

  • CIHR Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Paul Horton, dynamically demonstrates the interplay of elements and compounds in a compelling presentation.

Child area

The “Kid Space” series is aimed at children from 4 to 12 years old. It is offered at 11 a.m. on Saturdays: Oct 23, Nov 20, Dec 4, Dec 11, Jan 8, Feb 12, Mar 5, April 9, May 14 and June 11. All adults must be accompanied by at least one child.

Astronomy day

Join Treasure Coast Astronomical Society 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on February 5 for Astronomy Day, a free open house with telescopes, speakers, handouts, mini planetarium shows, and guided sky views, weather permitting .

At 16, Russel romanella, former director of security and mission assurance for the National Administration of Space and Aeronautics at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, discusses NASA, the space program, and exploration of the universe.

Laurie K. Blandford is TCPalm entertainment journalist and columnist dedicated to finding the best things to do on the Treasure Coast. Follow her on twitter @TCPalmLaurie and Facebook @TCPalmLaurie. Email him at laurie.[email protected] Subscribe to his weekly newsletter What to do in 772 at

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: CIHR Planetarium Starlight Series: Star of Bethlehem December 10-11

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Arline J. Mercier