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Planetarium show is set for today

Dr. Michael Dunham in the State University at Fredonia’s observatory in the Science Center.

FREDONIA — Dr. Michael Dunham, State University at Fredonia physics professor, will host a Zoom-based planetarium show today at 5 p.m. to note the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

Each night during the month, Jupiter and Saturn are moving closer and closer together in the sky. On their closest approach in the evening of Monday, Dec. 21, they will appear so close together they will appear in the same telescope field-of-view, and will look like a binary planet system.

Normally, Dunham would open up the telescope in the Science Center throughout the month of December to advertise the event, explain what exactly a “great conjunction” is, and provide viewing opportunities. Since he is unable to host telescope viewings due to the ongoing pandemic, he is instead conducting a virtual, Zoom-based planetarium show to discuss this event and explain how to view it.

The show, which will last an hour, will use screen sharing of digital planetarium software to explain what planetary conjunctions are, what is so special about this one, and how to best view this particular conjunction.

The event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 5 p.m. It is free and open to the general public. He is also advertising it on the Fredonia Observatory Facebook page.

Those interested in the session can email him at Michael.Dunham@fredonia.edu for the Zoom join information. Also, Dunham suggests following “Fredonia Observatory” to stay informed on all public events.

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