September star shows at the recently renovated J. Frederic Ching Planetarium of Hartnell College will feature NASA's probe of Saturn and a tour of the autumn night sky.
"We're excited about our upcoming shows, and showcasing them in our completely remodeled and upgraded planetarium," said Andy Newton, planetarium director.
Shows scheduled for Fridays, Sept. 10, 17 and 24, at both 6 and 7:30 p.m. are a double-bill - "Ringworld" and "The Stars of Autumn."
"Ringworld" highlights NASA's Cassini-Huygens Probe which is now orbiting Saturn. "The Stars of Autumn" explores the bright stars and constellations of the fall evening sky.
Tickets are $5 general admission and $3 for youths, students and seniors.
Tickets are usually available at the door prior to the show, but may also be purchased in advance at Hartnell's Workforce and Community Development Center, located in room 104 of the Hartnell College Center, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about the shows, call the planetarium information line at (831) 755-6913 or visit the website at www.hartnell.edu/planetarium/
The planetarium, built in 1962 and named for one of Hartnell's former presidents, has been closed for more than a year. The planetarium shows will utilize the facility's new digital system, which projects full-dome video in addition to portraying the starry night sky.
Planetarium director Newton said Konica Minolta manufactured the new projector, called the "Mediaglobe," and selected Hartnell as its western United States' demonstration site.
Besides the "Mediaglobe," improvements include a surround sound system, new lighting, a refurbished dome screen, new seats, carpeting, heating, cooling, and electrical systems.
The renovation of the planetarium was made by the passage of Measure H in 2002, a NASA-CIPA grant and donations from Konica Minolta.