Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

MCP News

Another Planetarium Program Converted to Digitalsky

We just completed converting another planetarium program to DigitalSky. "The Endless Horizon" is about human exploration -- exploration of the oceans, continents, and outer space.

Choosing Public Shows

Each year, the Merrillville Community Planetarium offers four different public programs -- one for each season. Our fall program is in October, winter show in January, spring program in April, and summer show in July.

Planetarium Offers Galileoscopes for International Year of Astronomy

In 1609, the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei turned a telescope towards the heavens and recorded the first detailed observations of the sky with the new device. In honor of the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observations with a telescope, the United Nations has declared 2009 to be the International Year of Astronomy (IYA).

Planetarium fall mailing goes out

On Friday, September 18, we mailed information for the planetarium's 2009-2010 program year to everyone on our mailing list.

50th Anniversary of NASA

When the Soviet Union launched the first satellite into space on October 4, 1957, the United States government responded by establishing a single agency to coordinate the nation's civilian space program. On July 29, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower signed legislation creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). On October 1, 1958, NASA began operations.

Total Lunar Eclipse of February 20, 2008

Weather permitting, observers in Northwest Indiana will be able to observe a total lunar eclipse on the night of Wednesday, February 20. This is the third of three total lunar eclipses over a twelve month period. There was a total lunar eclipse on March 3, 2007 and August 28, 2007.

Total Lunar Eclise Rises on Saturday, March 3 as Sun Sets

Weather permitting, observers in Northwest Indiana will be able to observe a total lunar eclipse as the moon rises in the east on the evening of Saturday, March 3. Our next total eclipse of the moon will be as the moon sets on the morning of August 28, 2007.

All Dome Video System makes Debut in Winter 2007 Public Show

After three months of installations and preparation, Merrillville Community Planetarium will debut the $135,000 all-dome video system in our Winter 2007 Public show, "The Winter Sky."

The most often received complaint of our programs was the relatively low number of outlines which were available on the sky. Outlines are stick-drawings that are used to connect the stars to provide a visual representation of the constellation. The previous Spitz projector provided four of these, some of which could not be used during portions of the year. Utilizing the new DigitalSky 2 system from Sky-Skan, Merrillville Planetarium can now display all 88 constellations with overlays and outlines.

Merrillville Schools awards Planetarium upgrade bid

On Tuesday, October 17th, the Merrillville Community School Corporation awarded a contract to Sky-Skan, INC. to install a new digital video system and LED cove lighting.

Planetarium to receive projection/lighting upgrades

During the 1998-99 renovation of Pierce Middle School, Merrillville's Planetarium received minor updates to the theater. The star projector was refurbished, control console upgraded, and a repainted dome. Many of the systems involved in show production and presentation were left unchanged.

On September 19th, 2006 the School Board for the Merrillville Community School Corporation unanimously approved a recommendation by Dr. Mark Sperling, Assistant Superintendent for the Merrillville Schools, to begin the bidding process for an upgrade to the Planetarium.

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