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Julia Fowler Planetarium

Home of the Star of Bethlehem Planetarium Christmas Show

Congratulations!  Named Best of Main Line

Julia Fowler Planetarium was named the "Best Place to Ponder the Heavens" by Main Line Today Magazine (July 2009). Throughout the year, the planetarium serves thousands of pre-kindergarten through college students, including school, church and homeschooling groups. The planetarium is also used by Eastern University professors and students to aid classroom instruction.

Main Line Today wrote:"Tucked away on the bucolic campus of Eastern University, the digital, full-dome Julia Fowler Planetarium offers stunning views of the night sky. And while the staff is dedicated to teaching most of the year, they do develop special shows that run for three weekends each season."

David H. Bradstreet, Ph.D, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Astronomy and Physics and also serves as the Observatory/Planetarium director.  "Astronomy is probably the most popular of the sciences and also the least taught in schools," Dr. Bradstreet said.  "I'm trying to change that. I see astronomy as a much more fundamental science through which many of the other sciences can be taught.  After learning about astronomy, students and the community alike often say, ‘I had no idea how fantastic the universe really is'. Their understanding of God is profoundly influenced when they better understand the universe that He has made and sustains. Astronomy education is critical."

Julia Fowler Planetarium

To learn more about upcoming events at the Planetarium, contact Steve Sanders at 610.341.1390 or ssander2@eastern.edu

Throughout the year the Planetarium serves thousands of Pre-K through college students. The planetarium is open to the public three times a year for special presentations including the perennial favorite The Star of Bethlehem show in December. Original Fulldome Curriculum is being developed by Dr. David H. Bradstreet for Spitz, Inc., which will be used worldwide at other SciDome planetariums.

Most of our public offerings include a 25-minute presentation on the Sky Tonight. The remaining 25 minutes of the public shows feature an IMAX-like fulldome video.

The shows previously offered include Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity, The Zula Patrol: Under the Weather and Astronaut.

Planetarium Equipment

The Julia Fowler Planetarium is a digital projector and computer called the SciDome from Spitz, Inc. and uses a fisheye lens to project an assortment of celestial events on the dome. SciDome uses Starry Night as the main engine that creates the star field, and in conjunction with a program called ATM4, users are able to automate planetarium shows.

The biggest difference in terms of education comes with the Starry Night star field engine. Instead of having static two-dimensional star fields, we can show you a three-dimensional universe. Instead of looking at the planet Mars, we now can fly there, land on the surface, and experience what life might be like on the red planet. We can fly out of the solar system or even out of the Milky Way galaxy on a space cruise and start to get a feel for how awesome the universe truly is.

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