TAMIU Planetarium Sets Anniversary Celebration April 21-22

A Year of Adventure and Fun Feted at TAMIU's Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium

Celebrate the Texas A&M International University Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium's one-year anniversary and see why in less than a year about 35,000 people have visited the Planetarium.

The celebration takes place Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22.

"During our celebration weekend, audiences will have a chance to have a sneak preview of 'Stars of the Pharaohs' a month or two before it opens to the public. This preview is a treat for all our supporters, and to show our gratitude we plan to give away door prizes, including assorted Planetarium memorabilia and several one-year free passes to the Planetarium at each show," said Dr. John Winfrey, Planetarium director and assistant professor of mathematics.

The Planetarium's latest feature takes audiences to ancient Egypt to see how science was used to tell time, make a workable calendar and align huge buildings and explains the connection the ancient Egyptians felt with the stars and various astronomical phenomena. Audiences will also see some of the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world recreated in their original splendor.

Show times on Friday are at 7 and 8 p.m. and the audience's last chance to catch "Stars" will be Saturday at 6 p.m. The popular music entertainment shows, "Rock Hall of Fame" and "enTRANCEd" will be shown at 7 and 8 p.m., respectively.

In the past year, visitors to the Planetarium have traveled to the year 2053, gone inside a human body, visited Jupiter and Saturn, rode in the eye of a hurricane, peered deep into space through the eyes of the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope, traveled back billions of years in time to witness the birth of the universe, tripped through space while jamming to classic rock, and gone on many more adventures.

Other Planetarium milestones during its first year include:

  • More than 10,000 people have visited during weekend shows.
  • Field trips have brought 25,000 local and area school children.
  • Increased the number of shows from one to two shows for elementary students, eight shows for middle and high school students and the general public, and a winter holiday show for children and adults.
  • Added Spanish-language versions of two Planetarium shows.
  • "Kalouka'hina," a family show about the oceans, was produced and shown in Europe, but the TAMIU LBV Planetarium is only the second planetarium to show the feature in the U.S.
  • Introduced a full-dome laser projection system that casts red-green-blue full dome cartoon-ish moving features with background music for a unique viewing experience currently available only as close as Monterrey or San Antonio.

General admission for these shows is $6; tickets for TAMIU students, faculty and staff and children under 12 are $5. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. Group rates are available for 50 or more people; advance reservations required.

The TAMIU Planetarium has one of the few new generation digital projectors. Prior technology only allowed a view from the Earth; this projector allows viewing from any part of the known universe. Thus, one can travel to structures unseen, except to highly developed telescopes.

Digistar 3 projectors use powerful graphics hardware and software to generate immersive full-dome images on the interior surface of a dome, integrating all-dome video, real-time 3D computer graphics, and a complete astronomy package.

For more information and show schedule, visit the Planetarium on the Web at http://tamiu.edu/coas/planetarium or call 956.326.2444.

For information on group rates, please call Laura Diaz at 956.326.2463 or e-mail planetarium@tamiu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu