Planetarium’s October Lineup to Include Halloween Programs, Special Events Focusing on Solar Eclipses
The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium in Branchburg will offer a number of programs in October, including Halloween, laser, and star shows for all ages, as well as special events focusing on the solar eclipses. The following shows will be offered:
Sunset Meditation, Friday, October 6, 7 p.m.
How do STEM workers, NASA professionals, athletes, and business executives cope with stress? Mindfulness. Meditation is a powerful tool for maintaining psychological health and resilience. Since the Planetarium offers a dark and quiet space for relaxation, it is the perfect place for meditation. Enjoy a guided meditation experience in the comfortable, reclined seats in the RVCC Planetarium. (Recommended for ages 10-adult)
Countdown to the Eclipses, Saturday, October 7, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
This show will help focus on preparing for solar eclipses in 2023 and 2024. On Saturday, October 14, 2023 and Monday, April 8, 2024, people in New Jersey will see the Moon partially cover the Sun. The April 8 eclipse is a total solar eclipse. Learn what a solar eclipse is, where to best see one, and how to view it safely. (Recommended for ages 8-adult)
Laser Kids laser concert, Saturday, October 7, 4 p.m.
Sing along to a fun playlist while lasers “dance” on the dome overhead. Songs include “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, “Levitating” by Dua Lipa, and “Can’t Stop this Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. (Recommended for ages 6-12)
The Sky Above (sensory-friendly), Saturday, October 7, 5 p.m.
This sensory-friendly astronomy and music show, approximately 45 minutes in length, is specially designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum or those with developmental disabilities. Neurotypical children are welcome as well. The program, which is presented on a kindergarten level, is appropriate for audiences of all ages. During the show, the doors will remain open so children may freely leave and return if they choose. Lights will be left dim (instead of dark), and the audio will be lowered and kept at a consistent level. The program will include music, laser lights, stories, and information about the planets, the Moon, and constellations.
Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon laser concert, Saturday, October 7, 8 p.m.
Enjoy songs from Pink Floyd’s hit album while lasers dance on the dome overhead. Songs include “Time,” “Money,” and “Eclipse.” (Recommended for ages 10-adult)
Solar Eclipse Observing, Saturday, October 14, noon-3 p.m.
On October 14, an annular solar eclipse will follow a path from Oregon to Texas. In New Jersey, people will only see about 35 percent of the Sun get covered by the Moon. Members of the community are invited to witness this event at the RVCC Planetarium. Telescopes will be set up for safe solar viewing. Visitors also will be able to watch live-streams to view the eclipse from other prime locations. The free event will be held in Parking Lot #8 and the Planetarium. The solar eclipse will begin at 12:07 p.m. and end at 2:36 p.m. The maximum eclipse viewing time is 1:21 p.m.
Skies Over Hogwarts, Saturday, October 21, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday, October 28, 3 p.m.
Join our eclectic group of witches and wizards as they guide visitors through a "Harry Potter"-themed tour of the night sky. Learn how J.K. Rowling used astronomy as the inspiration for some of her characters' names. (Recommended for ages 8 and older)
Family Fright Light (family friendly), Saturdays, October 21 & 28, 4 p.m.
The witches and ghouls continue to haunt the planetarium. Come and enjoy some of their favorite laser songs, including “The Adams Family Theme Song,” “Monster Mash,” and “Ghostbusters.” (Recommended for ages 6-adult)
Fright Light laser concert, Saturdays, October 21 & 28, 8 p.m.
This laser concert, geared for a slightly older crowd of goblins and ghosts, features such songs as “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band. (Recommended for ages 10-adult)
Halloween: Celestial Origins, Saturday, October 28, 7 p.m.
Believe it or not, Halloween is an astronomical holiday. During this new production, learn about the history of Halloween and how it fits into the seasons as a “cross-quarter day.” Participants also will explore the night sky and learn what planets, constellations, and stars will be out on Halloween evening. (Recommended for ages 8-adult)
Planetarium tickets cost $10 for one show, $18 for two shows back-to-back on the same day. Reservations are recommended, but all ticket sales are done at the door on the day of the show. Late admission to Planetarium shows is not permitted. For reservations and information, call 908-231-8805 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, visit www.raritanval.edu/planetarium. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.
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September 14, 2023