At the Del and Norma Robison Planetarium in Kirksville, visitors can travel backward and forward in time, according to Planetarium Director Jared Young.

“It’s a dome top spaceship,” Young said. “We’re able to fly through the universe and take a look at different things, and what we show is all scientifically accurate.”

Located on the Truman State University campus in Kirksville, the Robison Planetarium has two projectors and an HD resolution dome. With 60 open seats, Young said the planetarium is both an academic resource and a community resource.

“We do star shows, we fly through space and we talk about all kinds of things related to that subject, but the facility is actually used for a wide variety of activities,” Young said.

The planetarium is a resource in Truman State University classrooms, and Young said some of the hosts are undergraduate students. The facility is also used regularly for scheduled shows and field trips for local schools.

The planetarium offers four weekly public shows during the academic year on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, all free except the one on Saturday.

On “Mythological Mondays,” visitors can expect to see stars, constellations and asteroids over time and learn the stories of mythological figures. Young said the Monday show is the most popular public showing.

“Tech Talk Thursdays” cover science fiction topics and look at space with a film perspective in mind.

During “Final Frontier Fridays,” visitors can expect a wide range of space discussion, from exploring the solar system to talking about light travel.

Finally, on “Stellar Saturdays,” the planetarium staff takes viewers on an in-depth exploration of space discoveries.

For field trips and special reservations, there are also full dome videos available, such as “The Hot and Energetic Universe” and “Seven Wonders.”

Young said the planetarium is also used as a multimedia theater for live music, stand-up comedy and even slam poetry. Regardless of the function, he said the planetarium gets people thinking.

“The planetarium is a place where whoever attends gets to contemplate things that they don’t normally contemplate on a daily basis,” he said.

What makes the Robison Planetarium so special is achieving space exploration all from a seat, he said.

“We’re able to travel, not just through the solar system in our galaxy, but we’re able to travel through the universe and show our audiences different things,” Young said.

  • Feature reporter for The Columbia Missourian, Spring 2021. Reporter, Anchor and Producer at KOMU 8 News. Studying broadcast journalism and political science. Contact me at aemf82@mail.missouri.edu.

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