Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Planets and Stars and Lasers, oh my! @ RVCC Planetarium

WHERE: RVCC Planetarium, 118 Lamington Rd., Branchburg

Astronomy Programs

Magic Tree House: Space Mission
WHEN: Saturdays, April 7, 14, 21, at 3 p.m.

Jack and Annie discover the secrets of the Sun, Moon, space travel, and more.  Who can help them answer questions left for them by the mysterious "M?" (for ages 5 and older)

Laser Light Waves
WHEN: Saturdays, April 7, 14,, 21 at 4 p.m.

Lasers dance across the dome while we listen to music by a variety of artists.  Songs include "Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles, "Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae, "Counting Stars" by One Republic, and "Glad You Came" by The Wanted.

Astronomy Tonight
WHEN: Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m.

Using our Digital Sky software, we'll take you on a guided tour of tonight's night sky.  (Recommended for ages 8-adult.)

Natural Selection
WHEN: Saturdays, April 14, 21, 28, at 7 p.m.

Witness the thrill of scientific discovery through Charles Darwin's observations that led to a scientific puzzle falling into place: explaining the evolution of life through natural selection. This program also includes a brief tour of the current night sky in our digital planetarium. (For ages 10-adult)

ADMISSION: $8 per person for one show, $14 per person for two shows on the same day. Reservations are recommended. Call to make reservations: 908-231-8805.

Laser Concerts

Laser Light Waves 
WHEN: Saturdays, April 7, 14, 21, at 4 pm

Lasers dance across the dome while music is played.  Songs include "Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles, "Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae, "Counting Stars" by One Republic, and "Glad You Came" by The Wanted. (for ages 6-12)

Laser Hollywood
WHEN: Saturdays, April 7 & 14, 8 pm

Themes from some of your favorite movies have inspired this NEW laser concert, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pink Panther, Star Wars,and Beverly Hills Cop.  (Recommended for ages 6-adult)

Laser Coldplay
WHEN: Saturdays, April 21 & 28, 8 pm

Sit back and relax, listening to "For You," "Clocks," and "Viva La Vida."

Reservations are recommended for all shows. Call: 908-231-8805 x5.

Programs for Young Visitors 

Our youngest visitors can enjoy age-appropriate programs on the last Saturday of the Month.

It's Pajama Day at the Planetarium! 
WHEN: Saturday, April 28

Free admission for stuffed animals!

Rockin' Rocket Ride
WHEN: Saturday, April 28, at 3:00 pm 

Put on your space suit and blast off into outer space to visit the Moon, Sun, and planets.  A lively experience for young people with music from the CD "Journey into Space" by Jane Murphy.  Recommended for ages 3-8.

Storybooks in Space
WHEN: Saturday, April 28, at 4:00 pm

Enjoy story time in the Planetarium as youngsters and their families learn about the stars and planets.  There is no extra charge for stuffed animal friends.  Recommended for ages 3-8.


Weather permitting, the 3M Observatory will be open to the public on Saturdays from 7:00 p.m. to about 10:00 p.m. 

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Saturn on PuzzleSensory-Friendly programs

RVCC Planetarium offers special astronomy and music shows designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum or those with developmental disabilities.  These sensory-friendly shows, which are appropriate for audiences of all ages, will provide a comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to all families. During the show, the doors will remain open so children may freely leave and return if they choose.  Lights will be left dim (instead of dark) and the audio will be lowered and kept at a consistent level.

The Sky Above 
WHEN: Saturday, April 7, 5 pm

Enjoy music, laser lights, stories, and information about the planets, Moon, and constellations.  Content is presented on a kindergarten level.

What's up in the Sky?

EVENING: Venus is brilliant low in the west after sunset.  Jupiter rises in the east about 3 hours after sunset on April 1 to just half an hour after sunset on April 30.  Around mid-month, Jupiter starts rising before Venus sets.

MORNING: In the dawn sky, look for Mars and Saturn just 1.3 degrees apart on April 2. A scenic view of Saturn, Mars, and the Moon can be seen on the morning of April 7. Jupiter sinks lower in the southwest dawn sky during April. Mercury makes a very poor dawn appearance low in the east near the end of the month.  Its greatest elongation west is April 29.

Mars brightens from magnitude +0.3 or -0.4 in April as Earth races toward the red planet.  On April 1, we are 1.10 AU or 103 million miles from Mars.  On April 30, we are 0.85 AU or 79 million miles from Mars.  The opposition of Mars on the night of July 26, 2018 will be the closest since 2003.

Last Quarter Moon: April 8 

New Moon: April 15

First Quarter Moon: April 22

Full Moon: April 29