The Weber State University Department of Physics Public Observatory released announcements for their annual Star Party dates this semester, welcoming students to learn about the
night sky.

The first Star Party will be on Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Subsequent events will take place on March 11 and April 8 with starting times to be decided.

“This is an exciting opportunity that I believe the community and students can be interested in watching and learning about,” Planetarium Director Stacy
Palen said.

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The Ott Planetarium is located in Lind Lecture on the second floor. (Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)

The Star Parties will be free and open to the public. Participants are advised to dress warmly when attending, as viewing will be held outdoors.

The observatory is part of WSU’s Ott Planetarium, located on the second floor of Lind Lecture Hall. Although typically closed to the public, the planetarium’s star theater seats 60 people under a hemispherical dome and offers a variety of shows, each requiring a private reservation and hourly charge.

One of the productions that the planetarium offers for students is a stress reduction show that can be reserved for clubs, family and friends at the rate of $10 an hour.

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The Ott Planetarium is located in Lind Lecture Hall on the second floor. (Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)

In addition to entertainment, the facility also serves as a university classroom. Offering nine sets of high-powered binoculars, an astronomical library and nine medium-sized personal telescopes, the planetarium is an immersive educational environment.

The planetarium is also a point of interest for elementary and secondary educational learning, available for schools in any district to visit for $60 an hour according to the
facility’s website.

“Primarily, we get a lot of schools coming on field trips from all over the state,” Planetarium Assistant Director Nisi Whisler-Sorge said. “We even get schools from Idaho because it’s the nearest facility
for them.”

Despite the amenities the planetarium and observatory offer, many students remain relatively unaware of the facility’s existence.

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The Ott Planetarium is located in Lind Lecture on the second floor. (Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)

“For 17 years, I’ve been letting students and other faculty know that we have a planetarium and there are signs everywhere on campus to show that it still exists,” Palen said.

According to Whisler-Sorge, the planetarium’s Facebook has been a strong source of advertising for the facility and is tasked with getting the word out to those interested in astronomical
studies.

For more information on the planetarium’s services, or to schedule a reservation, visit https://www.weber.edu/ottplanetarium/default.html or email planetarium@weber.edu.

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