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Dibert-Roddick Planetarium on Shippensburg University campus

By: Chavez Ortiz

March 2, 2017

SHIPPENSBURG- Shippensburg University’s Dibert-Roddick planetarium was built inside the Franklin Science Center in the 1970’s, when coach Jack Roddick became the director of the planetarium. Roddick ran the planetarium at Shippensburg University for the past 20 years. He than passed the director position to Dr. Allen Armstrong, one of Shippensburg’s professor of physics. Dr. Armstrong has followed in Roddick’s footsteps by keeping up with planetarium events available to the public through out each semester.

“Jack in the last twenty years or so has used it as an outreach program for the community. He offered four or five public shows a year and private shows for organizations or schools. The public shows that are listed on the planetarium webpage at ship.edu are open to anyone. We do charge a dollar for adults and fifty cents for children for the public shows,” Armstrong stated.

When the planetarium is not being used for public events, it is being used to help with the education of students who are taking astronomy class. Students involved with the physics department also have the opportunity to experience the planetarium.

The planetarium allows Dr. Armstrong to slow down and speed up time to observe the motions in space that are more difficult to observe on a daily or yearly basis. Armstrong went on to say, “traditionally everyone loves the stars and all a planetarium really does is project an image of the stars on a dome. The planetarium allows us to accurately represent the celestial sphere; the position of the stars.”

Lastly he added, “It’s a teaching tool that let’s look and identify stars during the day and at night you can go outside and really see their glory.”

The planetarium will be hosting their last public event Tuesday March 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. This particular event will be discussing the late and early spring sky constellations with a theme pertaining to keeping time with the stars. Adults who attend this event will be charged one dollar and fifty cents for children.

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