Western Washington University   College of Sciences and Technology   Physics/Astronomy Dept.   Bellingham, WA USA
2013       2014 Calendar       2015
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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 whichever is greater). We currently offer no public "walk-in" shows. 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 email.

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

Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
JANUARY   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
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Saturday
This is 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 (example). 1 2 3
Quadrantid Meteor Shower
4
Earth at perihelion
closest to Sun
0.983 AU
5
Jupiter at Opposition
6 7 8 9

10 11
12 13 14 15 16

17 18
19
Ganymede
Europa
20 21 22Callisto 23 24 25
26 27 28
Io
29 30 31
Chinese
New Year
Below Orion's belt is where we find the amazing nebula (more).



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
FEBRUARY   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
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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. (more) 1
2 3 4 5
Apollo 14 lands on the Moon 1971
6 7 8
9
10 11 12 13

14 15
Galileo Galilei born 1564
16
17 18 19
Nicholous Copernicus
born 1473
(bio)
20
John Glenn
orbits Earth in "Friendship 7" 1962
21 22
23
Supernova 1987A Observed
24 25 26
27 28

Aurora photo by RL.Dietz



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
MARCH   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
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Saturday
Leo is now high in the southeastern sky in the evening and increasingly dominates the spring sky. From northern latitudes look for the Big Dipper straight up on the zenith. (constellations)

M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, is beautiful in telescopes or binoculars. Look 3.5 degrees southeast from the easternmost star of the Big Dipper. (galaxies)

1
2
3 4 5 6 7 8
9
Daylight Savings Time begins for most of America
10 11 12 13 14
Albert Einstein born in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany 1879
15
16 17

18 19 20
Equinox
16:57 UTC
(seasons)
21 22
23 24 25 26
27 28 29
30 31 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. The Messier Catalog represents most of the real showpiece objects for small telescopes. Due to the position of the Sun it is theoretically possible to see all of them this month, especially around the night of the new moon when the sky is the darkest. (Messiers)



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
APRIL   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
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Saturday
Mars will rise in the east at sunset on the 8th, transit the meridian at midnight, and set in the west as the sun rises the next morning. 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8
Mars at Opposition (Mars)
9 10

Apollo 13 launched, 1970
11 12
13 14
Shuttle lands for first time (Columbia) 1981
15

Lunar
Eclipse
16
Wilbur Wright born, 1867
17 18 19
20 21 22

Lyrid Meteor Shower

23 24 25
Hubble Space Telescope launched, 1990
26
27

28 29
Annular
Solar
Eclipse
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)



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
MAY   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
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The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks on May 5 but actully stretches from April 21 to May 12. It produces about 10 meteors per hour at the peak. Best viewing is after midnight. (meteors) 1

2 3
4
Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower
5 6 7 8 9 10
Saturn at Opposition
Apollo 10 launched 1969
11 12 13

14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26
Skylab launched 1973
27

28 29 30 31



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
JUNE   2014
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
Conjunction
of the Moon and Mars
8 9 10 11 12 13 14

15
16 17 18 19
20 21
Solstice
10:51 UTC
22 23 24 25
26 27 28
29 30
Meteor explodes over Tunguska Siberia, 1908 (meteors)

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. The brightest star is Vega, in the constellation of Lyra the harp. Then there is Deneb, the tail feathers of Cygnus the swan. Nearest the horizon is Altair in Aquila the eagle. (bright stars).



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
JULY   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Corona Borealis is between Hercules and Bootes, high in the summer sky. 1
Galileo announces that Jupiter has moons, 1610
2 3
Earth at aphelion farthest from Sun
1.016 AU
4

5
6 7 8 9 10 11

12
13 14 15 16
Apollo 11 launched, 1969
17 18 19
20
First humans on the Moon, 1969
21 22 23 24
25
Galileo views
Saturn through telescope, 1610
26
Apollo 15 launched, 1971
27 28
29 30 31 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).



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
AUGUST   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
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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 Curiosity Rover
lands on Mars 2012
6 7 8 9
10 11

12
Perseid Meteor Shower
13 14 15 16
17 18 19

Orville Wright born, 1871
20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29
Neptune at Opposition (Neptune)
30
31  



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
SEPTEMBER   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
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Friday
Saturday
Capella sparkles with colorful intensity when seen through dense 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
Equinox
2:29 UTC
Neptune discovered 1846
24 25 26 27
28 29 30 Another interesting autumn star is Mira, a variable star in the constellation of Cetus. At its 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)



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
OCTOBER   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
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Saturday
Orionid Meteor Shower peaks on the 21st. Hourly rate reaches 20. It's created by debris along the orbital path of Halley's Comet. (comets) 1 2 3 4
Sputnik, first human craft in space, launched from Russia 1957
5 6
7
Uranus at Opposition (Uranus)
8

Lunar
Eclipse
9

10 11
12 13 14
Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier, 1947
15 16 17 18
19 20 21
Orionid Meteor Shower
22 23
Partial
Solar
Eclipse
24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Vatican admits errors in trial of Galileo, 1992 (bio)
Bright lonely Fomalhaut shines in solitary splendor.



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
NOVEMBER   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
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The Leonid Meteor Shower peaks on the 17th. Maximum hourly rate typically reaches 10 to 15. This shower is notable for greatly enhanced activity every 33 years, the last big "storm" being in 2001. The streaking gravel entering our atmosphere is caused by a river of debris left in space by the passing of comet Tempel-Tuttle. (comets) 1
2
Daylight
Savings Time Ends
3
First dog in space, 1957
4
5

6 7 8
9
10 11
Tycho Brahe observes supernova in Cassiopeia, 1572
12 13 14

Apollo 12 launched, 1969
15
16
First message sent to M13 by Arecibo radioscope, 1974
17

Leonid Meteor Shower (meteors)
18 19 20

Edwin Hubble born, 1889 (Hubble's Law)
21
22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 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. Vikings and Celtic peoples also call it The Wagon. American Indian tribes each had their own names for it. (American Indian Sky)



Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium
DECEMBER   2014
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
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Saturday

Orion takes center stage. (constellations)
1 2 3 4 5

6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14
Geminid Meteor Shower
(meteors)
15 16   18 19 20
21
Solstice
23:03 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 Milky Way can be traced from Cassiopeia in the north, through Auriga high overhead, then south past the red star Betelguese in Orion. (Milky Way)

2013       2015