MSUM Planetarium to host Galactic Hitchhikers Friday

Fans of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will gather at the Minnesota State University Moorhead Planetarium while carrying towels on Towel Day, an annual event on May 25 to honor the late author.

Planetarium assistant Scarlet Gray Bernard will conduct a live Guide to the Galaxy interspersed with readings from The Guide, and will include other nods to the science-fiction comedy such as a Total Perspective Vortex and a Vogon Poetry Contest after the tour. The galactic tour begins at 7 p.m.

A galactic tour like this, including a Total Perspective Vortex (a zooming out from the Earth and the Milky Way, all the way to the edge of the known universe) is only possible at the MSUM Planetarium now that it has a full-dome digital projector with UniView software. The new system was installed last October, and has been gaining fans as more people get to see it through the regularly scheduled public shows and the many school groups that come through.

“The new system is amazing,” Bernard said. “The students and teachers really seem to love what we can do with it. We’re not just limited to an Earth-based view anymore, but we can fly to Saturn to see its rings. If a question comes up about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, we can instantly fly to it and look at it for ourselves. The students’ excitement is very rewarding, and we at the planetarium are also eager to put the system to new uses.”

MSUM Planetarium projector

General admission is $5 and $2.50 for children under 13, senior citizens and tri-college students. Hitchhikers who arrive with a towel will receive 50 percent off the regular admission rate.

For more information about the MSUM Planetarium, visit msumplanetarium.com or call 218.477.2904.

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