Raritan Valley Community College is constantly monitoring the COVID-19 coronavirus situation and has plans in place to respond quickly to any changes. Beginning March 18, the Planetarium and Observatory will be closed for school and public programs. Staff will regularly check email and voice mail and respond to messages. Please check our website and Facebook group for updates on programming.
We look forward to continuing to be your field trip destination and astronomy experts in New Jersey. Please join our Facebook group for astronomy and planetarium news, and sign up for our monthly newsletter.
For information and guidance about coronavirus as it relates to RVCC click here.
Discover a world of wonder and excitement when you journey into the Planetarium at RVCC!
WATCH FROM HOME
Birth of Planet Earth https://vimeo.com/410003388/569b6d15da
Here's the twisted tale of our planet's origins. Scientists believe that our galaxy is filled with solar systems, including up to a billion planets roughly the size of our own. This film employs advance, data-driven, cinematic-quality visualizations to explore some of the greatest questions in science today: How did Earth become a living planet in the wake of our solar system's violent birth? What does its history tell us about our chances of finding other worlds that are truly Earth-like?
Dinosaurs at Dusk: The Origins of Flight
A learning adventure of a father and his teenage daughter, Lucy, who share a fascination for all things that fly. You'll travel back in time to meet the pterosaurs and the ancestors of modern day birds: the feathered dinosaurs. Lucy and her father will navigate from continent to continent to look for clues for the origins of flight until time runs out and they experience first-hand the cataclysmic last day of the dinosaurs.
Earth, Moon, and Sun Youtube link
This planetarium show explores the relationship between Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions. Learn the basics of fusion and solar energy and why the Sun rises and sets. Examine the Moon’s orbit, craters, phases and eclipses. (recommended for grades 2-5)
Legends of the Night Sky: Orion https://vimeo.com/408034424
An imaginative look at the stories of the great hunter, Orion.
Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus & Andromeda https://vimeo.com/404669548
A fun-filled retelling of the Greek tale of the beautiful, but unfortunate, Princess Andromeda, who, in divine punishment for her mother's bragging, is sacrificed to a sea monster. Don't worry, Perseus arrives in time!
Little Star https://vimeo.com/404749027
Little Star is an average yellow star in search of planets to warm and call his own. Along the way, he meets other stars and learns what makes each of them special. Eventually, he discovers he already has planets orbiting around him. Each planet is introduced to Little Star, and the audience, with basic information about our solar system. (recommended for grades 1-3)
Mars 1001 Vimeo Link
An international crew of astronauts is about to embark on the first interplanetary journey in history, the first manned mission to the surface of Mars. Reporter Miles O'Brien is reporting live from his Space Headquarters TV Studio in New York while events unfold for the crew on their 1001 day long mission. We will witness firsthand their brave attempts to put human footprints on Mars and return safely to Earth. This journey is made possible by the biggest engineering feat ever and loaded with scientific experiments. The explorers will be extending our knowledge of Mars and will be learning whether or not mankind has a future among the stars. Experience the thrill of the grandest mission of exploration ever undertaken!
Observe the Moon, it's surface features, it's rising and setting during the day, and it's changing shape in the sky. (recommended for K-2)
Part 1: https://vimeo.com/404849392
Part 2: https://vimeo.com/404850139
Part 3: https://vimeo.com/404851110
Secret Lives of Stars
Not all stars are created equal. Some are massive. Others are tiny; almost insignificant. The specific characteristics of a star will determine what type of life it will lead, how long it might live, and even the type of death it will die. We will witness the amazing variety of stars and peer into their secret lives. Narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart of TV's Star Trek: The Next Generation and the X-Men films.
74,000 years ago on the island of Sumata, a volcanic eruption triggered the sudden and violent collapse of a vast regional plateau. But Earth has seen far larger eruptions. 250 million years ago in what is now Siberia, an eruption was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in Earth's history. This award-winning show looks at a rare class of eruptions that marshaled the energy that lurks beneath the surface of planet Earth. Could another sleeping dragon be waiting to surprise us? Are there volcanoes on other planets and moons in our solar system? Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.
To Space and Back https://player.vimeo.com/video/411037738
Space exploration - our greatest adventure - is having a big impact on our lives. It's helping us to discover a universe of unimaginable scale and beauty, and it's reaching down into our world and influencing the way we live. "To Space and Back" takes audiences on an incredible journey from the far reaches of our known universe to our own planet. It is an extraordinary story of human ingenuity and incredible engineering, describing how the technology that transports us through space is paving the way for the devices and apps we use every day. What's happening above is coming back down to Earth! Discover how we've been changed by space exploration, and what we owe to curiosity and the spirit of discovery.
Unseen Universe https://vimeo.com/336898935/4717c6edd4
Our eyes see the the universe with visible light, but that's just a tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum. Explore the skies in multiple wavelengths to experience a stunning visual treat as we explore the latest treasures of our Universe.
Children use their senses to observe the weather, learn different cloud types and how they can help with weather forecasting. We learn about different types of weather instruments, and follow a water droplet through the water cycle. (recommended for K-2)
Part 1: https://vimeo.com/404857973
Part 2: https://vimeo.com/404866121
Part 3: https://vimeo.com/405010238
Zula Patrol: Down to Earth
While on a routine fossil hunting expedition, The Zula Patrol turns up evidence that the villainous Deliria Delight has been travelling back in tine to Earth's prehistoric past to illegally dump her company's toxic trash. The Zula Patrollers must find and catch her. In the process, our heroes learn all about the formation and development of Earth, and the life forms who call it home. (recommended for PreK-grade 3)
Resources for Teachers and Parents and Interested People
While you are home and looking for one more thing to help with homeschooling or to entertain yourself or the family, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite websites. This is by no means a complete list of what’s out there, just some of the ones that we go to regularly.
- Astronomy picture of the day https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
- EarthSky, updates on the cosmos; astronomy news; sky events to look for; etc. https://earthsky.org/
- Gotta stay healthy while you are in space! A document on Space Nutrition https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/669816main_Space%20Nutrition.pdf
- Spot the Station: looking for International Space Station in the night sky. Put in your zip code, click on a locator icon near your home, then click on “View sighting opportunities”. https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/
- Spaceweather, a website to explore the Sun-Earth system. Includes daily pictures of the Sun and aurora predictions. https://www.spaceweather.com/
- Space.com, astronomy news https://www.nasa.gov/
- NASA, they are currently accepting applications for the next astronaut class! Plus there is news, activities, links to missions, and so much more. https://www.nasa.gov/
- Infiniscope, Use real NASA data as you do exploratory activities. This site makes the vastness of space and space exploration inviting, accessible, and interactive for educators and learners of all ages. Infiniscope provides a virtual space to connect users to cutting edge space exploration experiences that inspire curiosity, excitement, engagement, and confidence. https://infiniscope.org/
For Younger explorers and Elementary Grades
- NASA’s Space Place, information and activities, geared towards young people, but written so all ages (adults too!) can understand ideas https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/
- SciJinks: It’s all about the Weather (sponsored by NOAA) SciJinks features information, illustrations, and learning tools for many different weather topics! https://scijinks.gov/
- Storytime from Space (Astronauts aboard International Space Station reading picture books) https://storytimefromspace.com/
- My Sky Tonight, activities for Preschool / early learners from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. https://astrosociety.org/education-outreach/early-learners/my-sky-tonight.html
For Middle and High Schoolers
- Khan Academy has a Cosmology & Astronomy section. https://www.khanacademy.org/science/physics/cosmology-and-astronomy?fbclid=IwAR3GexU3_uKAsQYod4AGZlTpQ3DnzgiLDvS0v0dgeXrz0udjjpO7U7KKxRo
- Latest earthquakes from USGS https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/
- Zooniverse zooniverse.org, citizen science projects including Galaxy Zoo (classifying galaxy pictures) and Star Notes (transcribing notes from some amazing, early female Astronomers.) There are also citizen science projects in other disciplines like Arts, Literature, and Medicine.
- Podcasts from NASA’s Johnson Space Center https://www.nasa.gov/johnson/HWHAP
- Your Weight on Other Worlds https://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/weight/
- National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Radio telescopes on Earth look at the sky in a wavelength different from what we see with our eyes, and that opens up a whole new level of wonder and information. Multiple radio telescopes and also work together as if they were one giant telescope. Explore NRAO’s website for galleries of pretty pictures, information on the different observatories they operate around the world, and news about discoveries they are making. https://public.nrao.edu/
- Discover the Universe: science lessons for kids https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdfR3_eoqih4_VyYnxfzQng/featured
- Hubble Space Telescope. Check out their Public Lectures, Tonight’s Sky, Visualizations. It’s all great. https://www.youtube.com/user/HubbleSiteChannel/playlists
- Learn the Sky. Learn about constellations. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiPlOyqYe7N35RNlKL_yvBA/featured
Things to do at the RVCC Planetarium
- Public Shows
- Sensory-Friendly Shows
- Plan a Field Trip
- Starlab Portable Planetarium
- Special Events
Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter click here
Monday-Friday, from 8:30am to 4pm
118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, NJ 08876
$10 for one show, $18 for two shows on the same day