Western Washington University   College of Sciences and Technology   Physics/Astronomy Dept.   Bellingham, WA USA
 
2011       2012 Calendar       2013
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

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   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
1 2
Isaac Asimov born 1920
3 4
Quadrantid Meteor Shower
5
Earth at perihelion
closest to Sun
0.983 AU
6 7
Galileo discovers moons orbiting Jupiter 1610
8

9 10 11 12 13

14
15
16
17 18 19 20 21
Schwartz
1:00PM
22
23 24
MAUL FOSTER & ALONGI
6:00PM
25
Harmony Elem
10:15AM
Odyssey
4:15PM
26
27
Apollo 1 fire, 1967
28
Space Shuttle Challenger lost, 1986
29 30
31
The Sword of Orion, just below his famous belt, is where we find a stellar nursery known as the Orion Nebula.

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



Western Washington University Planetarium
FEBRUARY   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Zodiacal light is a pyramid of very dim light 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. 1
2
Space Shuttle Columbia lost, 2003
3
Montessori
1:30PM
First images from lunar surface. 1966
4
High St Homeschool
11:00AM
5
Maarten Schmidt discovers redshift of quasars. 1963
Apollo 14 lands on the Moon 1971
6 7
First untethered spacewalk 1984
8

9 10 11
WMAP measurements support Big Bang origin of the Universe 2003
12
NEAR-Shoemaker first craft to land on asteroid 2001
13
14 15
Galileo Galilei born 1564 (bio)
16
Isom Elem
10:15, 11:30AM & 1:00PM
17 18
Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto

Chinese New Year
19
Nicholous Copernicus
born 1473
(bio)
20
John Glenn
orbits Earth in "Friendship 7" 1962
21
Lynden Academy
10:30AM
22 23
Lynden Academy
10:30AM
Supernova 1987A Observed (stellar evolution)
24
Cambridge astronomers discover pulsars 1968
25
26
27 28
WCC A100
6:30PM
29 There is a leap year every year whose number is perfectly divisible by four, except for years which are both divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400. This means that three times out of every four hundred years there are eight years between leap years.



Western Washington University Planetarium
MARCH   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
March is the month of the "Messier Marathon" which is when amateur astronomers attempt to see as many of the M Objects in one night as they can. (Messiers) Leo is now high in the sky in the evening and dominates the spring sky. From northern latitudes look for the Big Dipper straight up on the zenith. (constellations) 1
WWU A103
10:00AM
Sky Hester
6:00PM
2 3
Goicu-Margineanu
12:00PM
Mars
at Opposition
4
5
WCC A100
6:30PM
6 7

8
WWU A103
10:00 & 11:00AM
9
Active volcanoes discovered on Io 1979
10
Rings of Uranus discovered 1977
11
Daylight Savings
Time begins for most of America
12 13
William Herschel discovers Uranus 1781
14
Albert Einstein
born in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany 1879
15
WCC A100
6:30PM
16
Brockmeyer
Homeschool
10:30AM
17
18 19 20

Vernal Equinox
05:14 UTC
21
WCC A100
6:30PM
22 23
Purcell Elem
11:00AM & 12:00PM
24
25 26 27 28 29
30
Evergreen Elem
11:00AM & 12:00PM
31
Schulz
2:30PM



Western Washington University Planetarium
APRIL   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
1
2 3 4
5
Whatcom YMCA
10:30AM
6 7

8 9 10
Three Rivers
Homeschool
10:00AM
11

Apollo 13 launched, 1970
12
Yuri Gargarin, first human to orbit Earth 1961
13 14
Shuttle lands for first time (Columbia) 1981
15
Saturn
at Opposition
16
Wilbur Wright born, 1867
17 18 19
Fairhaven Science
1:00PM
20
WWU A113
11:00AM
21
22

Lyrid Meteor Shower
23 24
One Great
Co-op
Homeschool
11:00AM
25
Hubble Space Telescope launched, 1990
26
Big Lake Elem
1:00PM
27
WWU A113
11:00AM
Big Lake Elem
1:30PM
28

29 30 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. (meteors)

The frequency of auroral activity is difficult to predict but corresponds to activity on the surface of the Sun (photo by RL.Dietz).



Western Washington University Planetarium
MAY   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
The Eta Aquarids meteor shower will peak on May 5 but it actually stretches from April 21 to May 12. It typically produces about 10 meteors per hour at the peak. 1 2

3 4
WWU A113
11:00AM
Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower
5

6 7
WCC A100
6:00PM
8 9 10

Apollo 10 launched 1969
11
WWU A113
11:00AM
12
Carlton
1:00PM
Sherwin
3:00PM
13 14
Skylab launched 1973
15
WCC A100
6:00PM
16
WWU A113
11:00AM
17 18
WWU CST
Advisory Board 11:00AM
Back2Bham
7PM, 8:30PM
19
WWU
Back2Bham
11AM, 12:30PM, 3:30PM, 5PM
20 21
Penzias & Wilson discover cosmic background radiation 1965
22 23
WCC A100
6:00PM
24 25
WWU A113
11:00AM
26
Skylab launched 1973
27 28 29
Big Lake
10:45AM
Relativity tested during eclipse 1919
30

31 Annular Solar Eclipse - May 20th. The path will begin in southern China and move east through Japan, the northern Pacific Ocean, and into the western United States.



Western Washington University Planetarium
JUNE   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
There is a partial lunar eclipse on June 4th. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of Asia, Australia, the Pacific Ocean, and the Americas. On the 5th, a rare transit of Venus across the face of the Sun.

Look for the bright stars of the Summer Triangle high over head this month. It consists of the first three stars you can see as it begins to get dark after sunset; Vega, Deneb, and Altair.

1
2
3 4 5
Transit of Venus

Kendall Elem
10:30AM
6
7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17
18 19 20
Summer Solstice
Longest day
of the year
23:09 UTC
21 22 23
24 25
26 27
Whatcom YMCA
10:30AM
28 29 30
Meteor explodes over Tunguska Siberia, 1908 (meteors)



Western Washington University Planetarium
JULY   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
1 2 3 4

5     Earth at
aphelion farthest from Sun
1.016 AU
(seasons)
6 7
8 9 10 11
Rebound
1:00PM
12 13 14
15 16

Apollo 11 launched, 1969
17 18
Rebound
1:00PM
Girl Scouts
Troop 42995
2:30PM
19
Grandparents U
5:30PM
20
First humans on the Moon, 1969
(the moon)
21
22 23 24
WWU Adventures
10:00AM
25
Galileo views Saturn with a telescope, 1610 (bio)
26
Apollo 15 launched, 1971
27 28
29 30 31 Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown is a semicircle of stars located between Hercules and Bootes, high in the summer sky. (constellations)

The crown represents the one that Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, wore at her wedding. The crown was created by the supreme goldsmith, Hephaestus (greek myths).



Western Washington University Planetarium
AUGUST   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
The Perseid Meteor Shower is a yearly favorite. It peaks on the 12th with a rate of 50 to 60 per hour. These meteors are actually debris left by comet Swift-Tuttle which takes approximately 130 years to orbit the Sun (comets). 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
Rebound
1:00PM
9
Stodola
3:00PM
10 11
12
Perseid Meteor Shower
13 14 15 16 17
Asaph Hall discovers two moons of Mars 1877
18
19

Orville Wright born, 1871
20
21
Lynden Boys
1:00PM
22 23 24
Neptune
at Opposition
25
26 27 28 29 30

31



Western Washington University Planetarium
SEPTEMBER   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
The bright star Capella sparkles with colorful intensity when seen through dense air near the horizon. True for any bright star, but this month Capella rises at a sweeping angle which keeps it near the horizon longer, and rises in the early evening when many people are out and notice it. 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14

15
16 17 18
Viking Launch 7:00PM
19
The Firs 3:00PM
1st scientific article on search for ET, Cocconi & Morrison 1959
20
Bham High 11:00AM
21
Bham High 8:00AM
22
Autumnal
Equinox

14:49 UTC.
23
Neptune discovered 1846 (Neptune)
24 25 26
The Firs
3:00PM
27 28

29
Uranus
at Opposition
30 Another interesting autumn star is Mira which is a variable star in the constellations of Cetus. At its very brightest it is as bright as the North Star. At its dimmest it is invisible to the naked eye. The whole cycle takes about 330 days. (constellations)



Western Washington University Planetarium
OCTOBER   2012
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 2
3
Stuart & Shaw Islands
2:15PM
4
Sputnik, first human craft in space, launched from Russia 1957
5
Edwin Hubble discovers M31 is outside of the Milky Way 1923
6
7
First ever images of far side of the Moon, Luna 3 1959
8 9 10 11 12 13
14
Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier, 1947
15 16
Camano Seniors
11:00AM
17 18 19
Ripke-Olsen
2:00PM
20
21
Orionid Meteor Shower
22
First images from surface of Venus, Venera 9
1975
23
Compass
2Campus
11AM & 1PM
Fendale Seniors
3:00PM
24 25
Bellingham Christian
10:00AM
26
Back2Bham
7:00, 8:30PM
27
Back2Bham
1:30, 3:00, 4:30PM
28

29 30 31
Vatican admits errors in trial of Galileo, 1992 (bio)
The Orionid Meteor Shower usually peaks on the 21st but it can be very irregular. Hourly rate is typically 20. Best viewing is between midnight and dawn. The shower is created by debris shed from Halley's Comet.



Western Washington University Planetarium
NOVEMBER   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
A Total Solar Eclipse occurs on the 13th. Totality only visible in parts of northern Australia and southern Pacific Ocean. Partial eclipse visible in most of eastern Australia and New Zealand.

Leonid Meteor Shower peaks on the 17th. Max rate - 10 to 15 per hour. This shower is notable for enhanced activity every 33 years. Last such storm was in 2001.

1
Montessori Samish 9:30AM
2
3
Laika the dog, first Earthling in space, 1957
4
Daylight Savings Time Ends
Walla Walla HS 8:00PM
5 6
WCC A100
6:00PM
7 8 9 10
11
Tycho Brahe observes supernova in Cassiopeia, 1572 (Brahe)
12 13
First craft to orbit Mars, Mariner 9
1971
Cozier Elem
9:30AM
14

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
19
WCC A100
6:00PM
20

Edwin Hubble born, 1889 (Hubble's Law)
21 22 23 24
25 26 27
Montessori
10:00AM
28 29

30
It's a good time to view the Andromea Galaxy.



Western Washington University Planetarium
DECEMBER   2012
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Different cultures have different names for the groups of stars. The most easily recognized group is called the Big Dipper in the United States, but in England it is called The Plow. In China it is The Wagon. Celtic people also call it The Wagon. American Indian tribes each had their own names for it. (American Indian Sky) 1
2 3
Jupiter
at Opposition
4
WWU
1:00PM
5
WCC A100
6:00PM
6
WWU
1:00PM
7 8
9 10 11
Boy Scout Troop 7:00PM
12 13 14
Geminid Meteor Shower
(meteors)
15
16
Galileo first views the Moon through a telescope 1609
17
First sustained powered flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, 1903
18

19 20 21
Winter Solstice
11:12 UTC
22
23 24

Apollo 8 sends message from lunar orbit, 1968
25
Isaac Newton born 1642
(Newton)
26 27
Johannes Kepler born 1571
(Kepler's Laws)
28 29

30 31 The winter Milky Way can be traced from Cassiopeia in the north, through Auriga high overhead, then south past the red star called Betelguese in Orion. (Milky Way)

Orion takes center stage this month.

2011       2013