RVCC Planetarium to Present Special Halloween Programs, Star Shows and Laser Concerts in October


originally published: 09/09/2022

(BRANCHBURG, NJ) — Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium offers programs for all ages in October, including Halloween shows, star shows, laser shows and even a Harry Potter-themed sky tour.

The following shows will be presented at the Branchburg Planetarium:

Accidental Astronauts, Saturdays October 1 and 8 at 3:00 p.m. Robot-kids Cy, Annie and their dog, Armstrong, get much more than they bargained for from their school trip on an impromptu adventure. Journey exploring the Sun, Earth, and Moon with a witty ship computer as your navigator and guide. Race across the surface of the Moon. Collect an asteroid sample in low gravity. Survive a solar storm. Discover a new appreciation for Earth’s unique beauty. Travel with the accidental astronauts in this epic domed theater adventure. (Recommended for ages 4-10)

Laser Kids concert, Saturdays 1 and 8 October at 4 p.m. Sing along to an updated playlist as lasers “dance” above the dome. Songs include “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, “Levitating” by Dua Lipa, and “Can’t Stop This Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. (Recommended for ages 6-12)

The Sky Above (sensitive friendly), Saturday October 1 at 5 p.m. This sensory spectacle of astronomy and music, lasting approximately 45 minutes, is specially designed for families with children on the autism spectrum or those with intellectual disabilities. Neurotypical children are also welcome. The program, which is presented at the kindergarten level, is suitable for audiences of all ages. During the show, the doors will remain open so that children can freely exit and return if they wish. The lights will stay dim (instead of dark) and the sound will be lowered and held at a constant level. The show will include music, laser lights, stories and information about the planets, Moon and constellations.

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Astronomy tonight, Saturday October 1 at 7:00 p.m. Using the Planetarium’s DigitalSky digital theater, experience a guided tour of the night sky. Learn about some of the popular constellations visible from sunset to sunrise, and the stories behind them. Find out how and where in the sky to find the brightest planets. Weather permitting, the 3M Observatory will be open after the show. (Recommended for ages 8-adult)

Classic rock laser concert, Saturdays 1 and 8 October at 8:00 p.m. You will probably recognize many of these songs from albums and tapes you may still have at home. “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by BTO, “Heart of Glass” by Blondie, “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” by Meatloaf and “Tom Sawyer” by Rush are just a few of the tracks included in the Display.

Sunset meditation, Friday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m. How do STEM workers, NASA professionals, athletes, and business executives deal with stress? Mindfulness. Meditation is a powerful tool for maintaining psychological health and resilience. Since the Planetarium offers a dark and quiet space for relaxation, it is the ideal place for meditation. Enjoy a guided meditation experience in the comfortable, reclining seats of the RVCC Planetarium. Admire a magnificent sunset as you travel virtually from the Grand Canyon to the North Pole. Then, relax under a night sky filled with stars and glimpses of the Northern Lights. (Recommended for ages 10-adult)

RVCC Planetarium to Present Special Halloween Programs, Star Shows and Laser Concerts in October

Out There: A Quest for Extraterrestrial Life, Saturday, October 8 at 7 p.m. For thousands of years we thought we were the center of the Universe. Since then, science has taught us an amazing amount about our cosmos. But even before we knew our Sun was just one of many ordinary stars, people began to wonder if we were alone in the Universe. It is not a question of whether life exists elsewhere, but where we should look, and how we will find it there. (Recommended for ages 10-adult)

The Skies over Hogwarts, Saturday October 15 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Join our eclectic group of witches and wizards as they lead you through a ‘Harry Potter’ themed tour of the night sky. Find out how JK Rowling used astronomy as inspiration for some of her character names. (Recommended for ages 8 and up)

Fright Light laser concert (family version), Saturday October 15 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and October 22 & 29 at 4 p.m. Witches and ghouls continue to haunt the Planetarium. They especially like our laser songs, including “The Adams Family Theme Song”, “Monster Mash”, and “Ghostbusters”. (Recommended for ages 8-adult)

Fright Light (PG-13), Saturdays October 22 and 29 at 8:00 p.m. This show is not recommended for young viewers or those who are easily scared! The laser concert includes tracks such as “Alive” by Meatloaf, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band. (Recommended for ages 13-adult)

Halloween: Celestial Origins, Saturdays October 22 and 29 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.What do you associate with Halloween? Trick-or-treating, disguises… astronomy? After all, Halloween is an astronomical holiday! Learn the history of Halloween and how it fits into the seasons as a “transversal day” during this new production. We will also explore the night sky and learn which planets, constellations and stars will be visible on Halloween. (Recommended for ages 8-adult)

Planetarium tickets are $10 for one show, $18 for two consecutive shows on the same day. Reservations are recommended, but all ticket sales are at the door on the day of the show. Late admission to Planetarium shows is not permitted. For reservations and information, call 908-231-8805.

Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, New Jersey.

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Arline J. Mercier