Western Washington University   College of Sciences and Technology   Physics/Astronomy Dept.   Bellingham, WA USA
 
2010       2011 Calendar       2012
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Presentations can be arranged for groups such as; scouts, classes, dorms, clubs, office staff, birthday parties, etc.
(minimum of 20 people or payment of $60 please). We occasionally offer public "walk-in" shows, check the calendar for dates and times. The facility has very comfortable seating for 45 people plus room for about 10 more on the floor.

To schedule a presentation for a group, choose an open date and time on the calendar below, and then use this handy presentation request form or contact one of our current guides.

How Much Does it Cost?
Students $3.00 For private groups, an invoice will be issued and you can mail payment to the WWU Cashier. Make checks payable to Western Washington University. For programs scheduled as part of a WWU course curriculum there is no fee.
Non-Students $5.00

Most planetarium presentations are strictly for people 8 years and older. However we do have programs designed specifically for the groups of younger children, such as preschool and daycare field trips.


For more information about the schedule, please email.

Presentations in Cyan
Astronomy in Gray
History in Red
Information Links in Gold

Western Washington University Planetarium
JANUARY   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday

The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on the 3rd and 4th this month. One of the year's best, it regularly produces 40 or more meteors per hour. The comet associated with the debris that causes this shower is unknown. There is a partial solar eclipse on the 4th which will be visible in most parts of northern Africa, Europe, and Asia.

1
2

Isaac Asimov born 1920
3     Earth at
Perihelion
0.9833 AU
from the Sun
Quadantid

Meteor Shower
4

Partial Solar Eclipse
5

6 7 8
9 10 11
William Herschel discovers Titania and Oberon, moons of Uranus 1787.
12
Lynden High
7:00PM
13 14 15
16 17 18
Skagit Discovery
11:30AM
19 20

21 22


Orion Nebula
23
24 25
WWU103 & WCC100
7:00PM
26 27

Apollo 1 fire, 1967
28
Homeschool
1:00PM


Space Shuttle Challenger lost, 1986
29
30 31
WWU103 & WCC100
7:00PM
The stars of Orion are among the most recognized in the night sky. The sword of Orion is where we find the famous Orion Nebula, an area experiencing the birth of new stars and planets. Also known as M42, the object is a showpiece for amateur telescopes.



Western Washington University Planetarium
FEBRUARY   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sirius can be located by drawing a straight line through the three belt stars in the constellation Orion, down to the left, to the brightest star in the night sky. 1
2
Space Shuttle Columbia lost, 2003
3
Chinese
New Year
4
5
Apollo 14 lands on the Moon 1971
6
WWU103 & WCC100
7:00PM

7 8
9
WWU PAST
6:00PM
10 11
12
EESP
Girl Scouts
3:45:PM
13 14 15
Galileo Galilei born 1564 (bio)
16
WWU103 & WCC100
7:00PM
17

18 19
Nicolaus Copernicus
born 1473
(bio)
20
John Glenn
orbits Earth in "Friendship 7" 1962
21 22
Homeschool
1:00PM
23
Supernova 1987A Observed
(stellar evolution)
24 25
26
Liam Hilburn
11:00AM
Sean Wagner
2:00PM
27 28
WWU103 & WCC100
7:00PM
Zodiacal light is a tilted pyramid of dim radiance seen in the west after evening twilight and in the east after morning twilight. It is light scattered from the Sun by countless micro-meteoroidal particles along the plane of the solar system. It is best viewed away from city lights during the last two weeks of February.



Western Washington University Planetarium
MARCH   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
March is the official month of the "Messier Marathon" when many amateur astronomers attempt to see as many of the M Objects in one night as they can. 1
2
Happy Valley
11:00AM
3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11
12
13
Daylight Savings Time Begins for most of America
time of day
14
Albert Einstein born 1879 (bio).
15 16 17 18

19
20

Vernal Equinox
23:31 UT
21 22
Highland Christian
11:30AM
23

M20 The Trifid
24
Happy Valley
10:30AM
25 26
27 28
29 30 31
Mary Purcell Elementary
11:00AM
Due to the position of the Sun it is theoretically possible to see all of Messiers this month, especially around the night of the new moon when the sky is the darkest. (Messiers)



Western Washington University Planetarium
APRIL   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
The Lyrid Meteor shower peaks on the 22nd at a rate of 20 per hour. Lyrid meteors radiate from a point in the sky near the bright star Vega. The debris stream is associated with Comet Thatcher. meteors

Saturn is at its best this month, reaching opposition on the 3rd when it will rise at sunset, transit the meridian at midnight, and set at sunrise.

1
Evergreen Elementary
11AM
2
Northwest Indian College 11AM
Moon at farthest apogee of year.
3
Saturn at Opposition
Saturn
4 5
Lakewood Middle
11AM, 12PM, 1PM
6 7 8 9
10
Apollo 13 launched, 1970
11 12

Yuri Gagarin becomes first man in space, 1961.
13
Western Home Committee
6:00PM & 8:00PM
14
Dodd 10:30AM
Shuttle lands for first time (Columbia) 1981
15 16

Wilbur Wright born, 1867
17 18

19
Isom Elementary
10:15AM, 11:30PM, 1:00PM
20 21
22
St. Paulís Academy
Kindergarten
11AM
23
24 25

Hubble Space Telescope launched, 1990
26

Happy Valley
10:30AM
27

WCC A100
6:00PM
28

Dennis Tito, first space tourist launched 2001
29 30




Western Washington University Planetarium
MAY   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
1
Northlake
Awana Club
3:00PM
2 3 4
Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower
5
Alan Shepard becomes first American in space, 1961
6 7

Fateyev
1:30PM
8

9

WCC A100
6:00PM
10

Apollo 10 launched 1969
11 12 13
WWU
Back 2 Bham
7:00 & 8:30PM
360.650.6146
for tickets
14
WWU
Back 2 Bham
11:00AM 12:30PM 3:30PM 5:00PM
360.650.6146
for tickets
15
WWU
Back 2 Bham
12:00 & 1:30PM
360.650.6146
for tickets
16

17 18 19

WCC A100
6:00PM
20

M51, The Whirlpool Galaxy
21
22 23 24

WCC A100
6:00PM
25
Pack 19
Den 5
6:00PM
26

Skylab launched 1973
27


28
29 30 31 Aquarid Meteors peak on the 4th, at a rate of 60 per hour.

Coma Berenices is visible between Virgo and Ursa Major. The name refers to the Hair of Berenice, the wife of Ptolemy III of Egypt. Her beautiful hair was given to Aphrodite as a gift.



Western Washington University Planetarium
JUNE   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Look for the bright stars of the Summer Triangle high over head this month. They are the first three stars you see as it begins to get dark after sunset. The brightest is Vega, in the constellation Lyra the Harp . Next is Deneb, the tail of Cygnus the Swan. Nearest the horizon is Altair in Aquila the Eagle. 1

Partial Solar Eclipse
2
St Paul's Academy
10:30AM
3
Evergreen
11:00AM
Big Lake
1:00PM
4
5 6 7 8 9
St Paul's Academy
10:30AM
10
Roosevelt Elementary
11:00AM
11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21
Summer Solstice
17:16 UT
Longest day
of the year
22 23 24 25
26
27
28

Pluto at Opposition
Pluto
29 30
Meteor explodes over Tunguska Siberia, 1908 (meteors)
Low in the south this month the curly tailed Scorpius stands with its heart marked by the bright red star Antares.



Western Washington University Planetarium
JULY   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, is a semicircle of stars located between Hercules and Bootes, high in the summer's night sky. It represents the crown that Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, wore at her wedding. The crown was created by the supreme goldsmith, Hephaestus. 1
Galileo reports that Jupiter has moons, 1610
2

3 4
Earth at
Aphelion
15:00 UT
1.0167 AU
from the Sun
5 6
YMCA
Everett
11:00AM & 12:00PM
7
YMCA
Mill Creek
11:00AM & 12:00PM
8 9
10 11

The Hercules Cluster
12 13 14
WWU
Grandparent's U
5:30PM
15 16

Apollo 11 launched, 1969
17 18 19 20

First humans on the Moon, 1969
(the moon)
21 22 23
24
25
Galileo views Saturn with a telescope, 1610 (bio)
26

Apollo 15 launched, 1971
27 28
WWU
Youth Global Connections
10:00AM
29
30
31 AIRGLOW: Your search for the Aurora Borealis may turn up the Airglow. This fluttering glow is a kind of permanent aurora at certain wavelengths of the spectrum. It occurs predominately in the lowest altitude range of the aurora in the atmosphere. The airglow is always present, forming a major component of the light of the night sky, but on rare occasions it is brighter in localized areas of the sky, visible as patches or bands.



Western Washington University Planetarium
AUGUST   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
  1 2 3


4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12
Perseid Meteor Shower
meteors
13
14 15 16 17 18
19

Orville Wright born 1871
20
21 22
Neptune at Opposition Neptune
23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks on the 12th with a rate of 50 to 60 per hour. These meteors are actually debris left by comet Swift-Tuttle. This comet takes approximately 130 years to orbit the Sun.



Western Washington University Planetarium
SEPTEMBER   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
As Capella rises it sparkles with great intensity, its light is disturbed by the atmosphere - true for any bright star but Capella sweeps along the ground as it rises, keeping it longer in the dense turbulent air near the horizon. 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11

12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19
20 21 22 23
Autumnal Equinox
09:04 UT
Neptune discovered 1846
24
25
Uranus at
Opposition
Uranus
26 27 28 29 30



Western Washington University Planetarium
OCTOBER   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
The Orionid Meteor Shower peaks on the 21st. The maximum hourly rate typically reaches 20. The Orionids are related to the eta Aquarids, a southern hemisphere meteor shower in May. Both are created by debris along the orbital path of Halley's Comet. Earth comes close to that path twice a year, once in May and again in October. 1
2 3
WWU A103
6:00PM
4
Cedar Tree Montessori
10:00AM
Sputnik, first human craft in space, launched from Russia 1957
5 6 7 8


9
WWU Admin
7:30PM
10

11
WWU A103
6:00PM
12 13
WWU FIG
1:00PM

14

Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier, 1947
15
16 17 18 19
WWU A103
6:00PM
20
Orionid Meteor Shower
21
WWU Fall
Family Open House
7:00 & 8:30PM
22
WWU Fall
Family Open House
12:00, 1:30,3:00,
& 4:30 PM
23 24
25
WWU
Compass to
Campus
26
WWU
Library
2:00PM
27
WWU A103
6:00PM
28 29
Jupiter at Opposition
Jupiter
30 31
Vatican admits errors in trial of Galileo, 1992
Galileo
One rather interesting star in the autumn sky is Mira, a variable star in Cetus. At its brightest, as bright as the North Star. At its dimmest, invisible to the naked eye. The whole cycle takes about 330 days.

M31, The Andromeda Galaxy is a collection of stars and gas much like our own Milky Way, 2.6 million lightyears away.     galaxies



Western Washington University Planetarium
NOVEMBER   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
In the south, the bright lonely star Fomalhaut shines in solitary splendor. 1
Cornerstone
Christian
10:00AM
2 3
Laika the Dog
First Earthling in space, 1957
4
WCC A100
6:00PM
5
6
Daylight Savings Time ends for most of America
time of day
7
WCC A100
6:00PM
8
9

10
WWU PAST
6:00PM
11
Tycho Brahe observes supernova in Cassiopeia, 1572 (Brahe)
12
13
WCC A100
6:00PM
14
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe
5:00PM
Apollo 12 launched, 1969
15
WCC A100
6:00PM
16
First message sent to M13 by Arecibo radioscope, 1974
17
Leonid Meteor Shower
meteors
18
Gardenview
Montessori
Preschool
2:00PM
19
20
Edwin Hubble born, 1889 Hubble's Law
21 22 23
24 25

Partial Solar Eclipse
26
27 28 29 30 The Leonid Meteor Shower peaks on the 17th. The maximum hourly rate typically reaches 10 to 15. This shower is notable for greatly enhanced activity every 33 years.



Western Washington University Planetarium
DECEMBER   2011
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
The Geminid Meteor Shower peaks on the 14th. The maximum hourly rate typically reaches 80. The associated comet is unknown. meteors

This is a good month to view the Pleiades star cluster in Taurus the Bull, also known as M45 or the Seven Sisters. The starlore associated with the Pleiades is extensive.     example

1
Whatcom Hills Wadorf School 1:30PM
2 3
4 5 6 7
The Firs 2:30PM
8 9

10
Saturday
Science
Academy
1:30PM
11 12 13
Little Darling Preschool 10:00AM
14
The Firs 2:30PM
Geminid Meteor Shower
meteors
15 16 17
First sustained powered flight at Kitty Hawk, NC
1903
18 19
Orion takes center stage. constellations
  21
Little Darling Preschool 10:00AM
Winter Solstice
05:30 UT
22 23 24
Apollo 8 sends greetings from lunar orbit
1968
25
Isaac Newton born 1642
Newton
26 27
Johannes Kepler born 1571
(Kepler's Laws)
28 29 30 31


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