The RVCC Planetarium will present Astronomy Day

The Planetarium at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg will feature a special Astronomy Day on Saturday, May 7, celebrating astronomy and science.

The event, scheduled from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., will feature hands-on activities for all ages in the exhibit area and outside the Planetarium, telescope observations in the 3M Observatory, stars and laser concerts. The day will also include an astronomy and music show specially designed for children with autism.

There’s no charge for activities, exhibits, or telescope viewing, but regular admission is charged for planetarium shows and laser concerts. Scheduled shows include:

Magic Tree House: Space Mission, May 7, 3 p.m.

Join Jack and Annie, characters from the Mary Pope Osborne book series, as they uncover the secrets of the Sun, Moon, planets, space travel and more. (Recommended for ages 5 and up)

Laser Kids concert, May 7, 4 p.m.

With a mix of music and “dancing” lasers on the ceiling of the dome. Songs include Echosmith’s “Bright”, Village People’s “YMCA”, Bad Bunny’s “Mia” and Shakira’s “Waka Waka”. (Recommended for ages 6-12)

The Sky Above, sensory program, May 7, 5 p.m.

This sensory spectacle of astronomy and music, lasting approximately 45 minutes, is specially designed for families with autistic or intellectually disabled children. 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.

Astronomy tonight, May 7, 7 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 and up)

Classic Rock Laser Concert, May 7, 8 p.m.

Audience members may recognize many of the songs featured in this laser concert from their old albums and tapes. Selections include: “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.

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. For more information, visit www.raritanval.edu/planetarium.

RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg.

Arline J. Mercier