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SPC Planetarium

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St. Petersburg- During these difficult economic times, students are saving their money for necessities and cutting back on entertainment. It seems like there’s not a huge selection of fun, free activities around Tampa Bay, but you don’t even need to step off of campus to find one. If you haven’t already discovered this gem on the SPC/ Gibbs campus, then you’re truly in for a treat.

The Planetarium is a beautiful, rounded ceiling theatre, located on the second floor of the Natural Science building in room SC 205 and is run by its professor and director Dr. Craig Joseph. Shows are available on Friday’s at 7 and 8:15. The Planetarium is a gorgeous simulation of the night sky that people of all ages will enjoy, as long as they’re not younger than five years old. There are age restrictions because as this is a cozy theatre, small children’s sounds will interfere with the quality of the show. Another interference that is prohibited at shows is use of cell phones, because the light reflected off of the fragile ceiling dulls the images, making the stars difficult to see. If you bring your children, sometimes you might even score some free candy while you watch the show.

During the show, you’ll get an exclusive look at constellations, supernovas, planets and moons. Right now, you can enjoy the Legends of the Fall show, which runs from October 7th to November 18th.  Some of the visible constellations of this season are Andromeda, Cassiopeia and Perseus. Each of these breathtaking constellations comes with an interesting background story. You will hear about the journey and battles of Perseus, and the legends of Andromeda and Cassiopeia. You’ll walk away fascinated by the amount of mythology you learn about as well as astronomy. While attending a typical Planetarium visit, director, Dr. Craig Joseph, will shock you with amazing facts about the universe

After the show, you have the option to travel up to the roof for another special treat. On the roof, is telescope that scans the bare night sky. You’re able to use it yourself and catch a glimpse of the current night sky, right now being the autumn constellations. By using this super telescope, The Planetarium can focus finely in on the world beyond the clouds. You won’t see the night sky like this anywhere else.

While this is a fun, free experience for people on a budget, The Planetarium will leave everyone speechless and will keep them coming back even when the economy improves.

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