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WVU Physics Department Shows Off New Planetarium

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Guests went to White Hall on West Virginia University's campus to see three different parts of an event put on by the Physics Department. The people who attended were a few of the first people to see the brand new planetarium and the new technology.

"I've lived in Morgantown for four years and I've been wanting to come to the Planetarium," said Maja Holmes. "So when I heard there was a new planetarium, this was a great opportunity to come out and visit the kids."

The program includes two films that made spectators feel like they were in outer space. The first is a 3D animation film that features the lifespan of a star through every phase of its existence.

"Well it was very cool it explained all through out the universe," said Jack Renton, who came with his mom to a birthday party. "And how the stars were born and how they died."

"It felt like you were actually going into the star, the black hole," said Lucy Holmes, Maja's daughter. "And sometimes, when you looked up, you felt like you were tilting back and forth."

The second film deals with the Stars of the Pharaohs, which explains the Egyptians' connection with the stars.

These programs are every other Friday night until June, but the films will be changed periodically.

"Look, what WVU can provide not only is it for the public's use but we also use it for students too. Our basic freshman astronomy classes, we bring them up here and show them night sky charts in the planetariums," Caitlin Ahrens, who operates the telescope. "Or if they want to use the telescope for the night, our students use the telescope for research."

The program also includes a look at the observatory, which features a state-of-the-art telescope.

"One of the things I'm looking forward to is going out to the observatory and being able to see the stars," said Holmes. "So in conjunction with the planetarium shows being able to go out and actually see Jupiter."

All events are free admission, but you do need to call ahead to make reservations. Call John Hopkins at 304-293-4961 to reserve your spot.

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