Saturday shows return to the OCC Planetarium

Inside the 50-foot dome theater that seats 125 at the OCC Planetarium.

The Orange Coast College Planetarium is bringing back its Saturday shows starting Sept. 24. There are four different shows to choose from, each an hour long starting at 1 p.m. and the last showing starting at 4 p.m.

They feature different topics from the earth’s dynamic ecosystems, solar systems, and stars. 

“My favorite show is definitely ‘Skywatchers’ because that one is all live and it updates with current events, anything new happening in space and new discoveries,” Planetarium Director Scott Mitchell said.

Mitchell mentioned that the Sept. 24 “Skywatcher” show will feature the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which is NASA’s attempt to redirect an asteroid by crashing a satellite into it. The mission is to protect the Earth from getting hit by an asteroid in the future.

The 1 p.m. show, “Habitat Earth”, explores life in the ocean and the dynamic relationships within the ocean’s ecosystem. 

The 2 p.m. show, “Explore”, is a journey through time and explores mythologies, superstitions and legends that were determined by what ancient astrologers viewed in the sky.

The 3 p.m. show is different every week. Saturday’s 3 p.m. show, “To Worlds Beyond,” travels throughout the solar system.

The 4 p.m. show, “Skywatchers” takes the audience on a live-guided tour of the stars in the night sky. There is also a live Q&A with the presenter, after the show.

Mitchell mentioned to expect to learn about astronomy and earth science when attending the shows. Questions about the topics are also encouraged.

“One of the best parts of my job is getting to interact with people,” Mitchell said, “If they come in with questions about the universe, I'm more than happy to talk your ear off about it.”  

The shows are displayed inside the Planetarium’s dome theater on campus with 125 unidirectional, reclined seats beneath the 50-foot dome projection screen. 

The Planetarium also has a gift shop, an interactive science exhibit hall, the Foucault Pendulum, and the NOAA Science on a Sphere globe.

The Foucault Pendulum is a freely swinging pendulum that was named after French physicist Léon Foucault. In 1851, Foucault used it to provide the first physical proof of the earth’s rotation. Before this, scientists relied on astronomical observations.

Tickets are available for purchase on the OCC Planetarium website. They are limited and may sell out. Late permittance into the program is not allowed. It is recommended to show up 15 minutes before start times. Students and faculty have access to ticket benefits upon logging in.

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