The circa 1954 Zeiss Projector used in the old Buhl Planetarium on the North Shore. The original building is now part of the Children's Museum.
The old Buhl Planetarium on the North Shore. The original building is now part of the Children's Museum.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the Buhl Planetarium, the Carnegie Science Center is hosting several astronomy-themed events this fall, which kick off with SpaceOut! Astronomy Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
SpaceOut! activities run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and are included in general admission.
Weather permitting, experts also will guide Safe Solar Observing, to help visitors examine sunspots and other solar phenomena, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, outside the Science Center on the North Shore.
Also weather permitting, SkyWatch will run from 9 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in the observatory. SkyWatch costs $2.
On Saturday, speakers will discuss these astronomy topics in the planetarium:
• “Stargazing, Myths, and Ancient Folklore” presented by Larry McHenry, noon. Mr. McHenry, from the Kiski Astronomers, will present an introduction to the constellations and their human interpretations across the ages.
• “Tour of the Universe,” 1 p.m.; presented by Shirley Ho, cosmologist from Carnegie Mellon University. 1 p.m.
• “What’s New in the Universe,” 2 p.m.; presented by Andrew Zentner, of University of Pittsburgh’s Particle Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology Center.
• Buhl Planetarium 75th anniversary presentation, 3 p.m. This will focus on the Buhl’s history, star identification, and recognition of the newly named Henrybuhl asteroid, a name bestowed by The International Astronomical Union this summer.
On Sunday, a Buhl anniversary cake will be cut at 2 p.m., with slices available while the cake lasts.
Creation of the Buhl Planetarium was funded by The Buhl Foundation, established by philanthropist Henry Buhl Jr., who died in 1927. The foundation also established the Institute of Popular Science, the predecessor organization of the Carnegie Science Center. The original planetarium was located in the Allegheny Center area of the North Side and was the fifth major planetarium in the United States — joining those in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. It became part of the current Carnegie Science Center complex along the North Shore in 1991. The former planetarium building is now part of the Children’s Museum.
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