Mesa Community College invites the public to explore the amazing Universe in our state-of-the-art Planetarium! Our Astronomy Nights are the first Friday of the month during the Spring and Fall semesters. Planetarium shows run from 6:00-10:00 PM, typically every 30 minutes.
The Moon will rise at 6:15pm and will already be in partial eclipse at that time. Gradually, more and more of the Moon surface will be shaded by the Earth's shadow until the Moon is in Total Eclipse at 7:11pm. This lasts until 8:23pm with the maximum eclipse occurring at 7:47pm.
During this period, the Moon will begin to appear red. As the eclipse is a dynamic event, we will continue viewing throughout the event without hosting a Planetarium show. However, we will have telescopes for viewing the surface of the Moon and other bright sky objects.
Astronomers will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate how eclipses work. The next major eclipse event visible from Phoenix is not until August of 2017, so please join us for this fairly rare opportunity!
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2016 and will analyze and return a sample of asteroid 101955 Bennu to Earth for further study.
101955 Bennu is a near Earth object. Starting September 2016 up until 2018, OSIRIS-REx will travel closer to Bennu and begin mapping it's surface and ultimately extend a robotic arm to collect samples that could better explain our solar system's formation and how life began.
Follow this mission at http://www.asteroidmission.org/
The Rosetta spacecraft along with its lander Philae, is analyzing the comet 67P/C-G in detail. On November 12 2014, Philae was able to successfully land on a comet making it the first successful comet landing.
For news and information about this mission, visit the official website at http://rosetta.esa.int/
Please note that tickets are first come first serve only to reserve a spot and you could participate in other activities while you wait.
During Astronomy Nights, we also offer telescope viewing of the Moon, planets, and other celestial sights. Unlike the planetarium shows, telescope viewing will only occur if the skies are clear. The line starts 10 minutes before show time.
The planetarium is wheelchair accessible.
Groups of 25 or more are encouraged to click on the "Schedule a Private Visit" button on the left side of this page to schedule a custom show at the Planetarium.
Astronomy Nights are held at the Physical Science Building (PS 15) just east of Dobson Road, two traffic lights south of Southern Avenue. Please see the map for our location on MCC's Southern & Dobson campus.
The Planetarium is located on the south side of the Physical Science Building and is labeled with "PLANETARIUM" in large black letters which are visible from Dobson Road and the MCC driveway leading from Dobson Road.
Free parking is available in the lots south of the Physical Science Building. Please avoid parking in the spaces marked "EMPLOYEES" until after 6:00 PM.
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