Southern Nights Update
- Hello All,
In case you don't recognize the new ID, I am Laurent Pellerin, Founder
of Southern Nights Astronomical League. I know it has been a long
time since I was really active, but I'm glad to see so many still members.
I went through a divorce and received custody of my daughters, so I
was very busy for a while. I also moved and changed jobs! After 14
years managing the Seminole Community College Planetarium in Sanford,
Florida, I finally left it to my able assistant, Derek, and accepted
the position of Coordinator for the new Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in
Gainesville, Florida. I will still be very busy for the next few
weeks getting it ready for the Grand Opening on Labor Day Weekend, but
I will try to get Southern Nights back up and running after that.
For those of you in the Gainesville/Ocalla area, the Kika Silva Pla
Planetarium is a 64-seat, 35-ft dome planetarium located at Santa Fe
Community College with not one, but TWO star projectors! We have a
Spitz Digital SciDome full-dome system running Starry Night Dome
software. And we have the new state of the art, computerized, Goto
Chronos Mechanical-Optical star projector. This projector is only the
10th one installed in the world, and the only one operating in Florida
until the Saunders Planetarium in Tampa gets their's installed. With
its individual, computer controlled planets, sun and moon, it can jump
to any time/place on earth in the past 10,000 years or future 10,000
years, as well as demonstrate binary stars and inner system orrey. It
projects 8,500 pinpoint stars and numerous M-objects as well. It is
the best star field I've ever seen.
Admission fees of $4 Adults, $3 children 3-12 and seniors 60+, will be
waived until January to give you a chance to check us out for free.
Shows will be every Friday and Saturday night at 8:30 PM starting
August 31st. In the future, I plan to add full-dome movies (if I can
find corporate sponsors) and Celestial Concerts to the line up as
well. For now, Friday nights will be the never ending series,
"Southern Nights," utilizing both star projectors to teach
astronomical concepts, as well as teaching the constellations, with a
few stellar myths thrown in. Every episode will be a little
different. Saturdays will be our Feature night, starting with
"Planets in the House," utilizing the SciDome projector to travel (and
land) to the planets and update you with the latest information about
them. If you've ever used Starry Night on your computer, imagine it
projected across a 35-ft dome! Future Features will include, "Star of
the Magi," in December; "NightSpirits: Native American Star Lore"
January through April; and "AstroMyth Busters" in May.
Founder, Southern Nights Astronomical League
Coordinator, Kika Silva Pla Planetarium