First Fridays

First Fridays: Messengers from Space

Guest Speaker: Mark Jeffery

Guest Speaker Mark Jeffery will highlight the puzzles of nature that meteorites help us investigate, and the quirks of human nature that are sometimes stirred by their arrival. A good number of meteorite specimens will be available for up-close inspection. This will further help us to appreciate both the beauty and the mystery of these ancient travelers.

Date: Friday, November 1
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3.50 adults, $2.50 seniors 60+, $2.50 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $7 adults, $5 seniors 60+, $5 youth ages 2-11
Free for members!

Includes 7:00 p.m. showing of Oceans: Our Blue Planet.

First Fridays at Longway Planetarium are funded in part by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage. Your tax dollars are at work.

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Past Topics

First Fridays: Light, the Universe and Everything

Guest Speaker: Mike Close

Humanity had little hope of ever understanding the nature or composition of stars until the mid-nineteenth century, when a new device called the spectroscope allowed chemists to understand more about the nature of the elements. It all started with observing and analyzing the light emitted by stars. A few innovative astronomers decided to observe starlight through a spectroscope. Their experiments changed the nature of astronomy forever and ushered in a brand new discipline called astrophysics. This lecture will discuss how spectroscopy allows us to understand the nature and composition of celestial objects; how spectroscopy has changed the study of astronomy; and how amateur astronomers are able to collaborate with professionals to contribute to astronomical research.

Date: Friday, October 4
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3.50 adults, $2.50 seniors 60+, $2.50 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $7 adults, $5 seniors 60+, $5 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free

Includes 7:00 p.m. showing of Ooky Spooky Light Show.

First Fridays at Longway Planetarium are funded in part by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage. Your tax dollars are at work.

First Fridays: Water Moons

It used to be the prevailing wisdom was that Earth was the only place in the solar system to consistently harbor liquid water. In the past couple of decades, we have come to realize that may not be the case. Several moons in our solar system appear to have vast oceans of liquid water underneath icy frozen exteriors. This talk will explore several of these moons including Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and Ganymede. We will look at the methods used to find this water so far as well as upcoming NASA missions aimed at exploring these moons further in an attempt to determine which, if any, might also be hospitable to life as we know it.

Date: Friday, September 6
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3.50 adults, $2.50 seniors 60+, $2.50 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $7 adults, $5 seniors 60+, $5 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free

Includes 7:00 p.m. showing of Oceans: Our Blue Planet.

First Fridays at Longway Planetarium are funded in part by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage. Your tax dollars are at work.

First Fridays -- Monarchs: A Vanishing Species

Monarch Butterflies are one of the most iconic species you can find in your own backyard. These beautiful orange visitors have enchanted us as children and into our adult years. Unfortunately, these awesome creatures of change are facing incredible population losses. With around 90% having vanished in recent years, we can play our part by raising young caterpillars in our own homes. This hour long lecture will focus on the life cycle of a monarch butterfly and how you can start raising and, eventually, releasing them back into the wild.

Guest Speaker: Katie McKeirnan of Seven Ponds Nature Center
Date: Friday, August 2
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3.50 adults, $2.50 seniors 60+, $2.50 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $7 adults, $5 seniors 60+, $5 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free

Includes 7:00 p.m. opening night showing of Oceans: Our Blue Planet.

First Fridays at Longway Planetarium are funded in part by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage. Your tax dollars are at work.

First Friday: The Apollo Adventures

Last month, we looked at the origin of the United States space program with the Mercury and Gemini projects. This month continues that theme as we turn our eyes to the Apollo program. July 20, 2019 marks 50 years since we first set foot on the moon, and the Apollo program is what got us there. We’ll look at the variety of motivations, hallmark moments, and setbacks in this story. Beginning at the Apollo 1 fire and ending with Gene Cernan’s final words from the surface of the lunar soil, there is much to take away from this grandest of human adventures.

Date: Friday, July 5
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3 adults, $2 seniors 60+, $2 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $6 adults, $4 seniors 60+, $4 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free

Includes 7:00 p.m. showing of Journey to Space.

First Fridays at Longway Planetarium are funded in part by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage. Your tax dollars are at work.

First Friday: 50 Years of Discovery

Join us as we look at the history of the space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In this talk we'll be comparing the achievements of both of these space programs and how the space race still benefits us today. Many of our modern technologies have their roots in this competition between nations. The talk for June will look at many different space programs, but will stop just shy of Apollo—we'll save that for next month when we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Date: Friday, June 7
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3 adults, $2 seniors 60+, $2 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $6 adults, $4 seniors 60+, $4 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free

Includes 7:00 p.m. showing of Journey to Space.

First Fridays at Longway Planetarium are funded in part by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage. Your tax dollars are at work.

FREE! Music Under The Stars

Music Around Town series presented by Flint Institute of Music

Date: Friday, May 3
Time: Shows at 5:15 and 6:15 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Tickets: Free admission for all; pre-registration is required. Call 810-237-3400 to reserve your seats.

Don’t miss this very special First Friday event! Flint Symphony Orchestra members will perform inside the dome as the stars twinkle overhead. This event is free to the public. Due to limited seating, pre-registration is required. 7:00 p.m. showing of Journey to Space is free to those attending the 6:15 p.m. show.

Repertoire
Mars, the Bringer of war from The Planets
Jupiter’s Aria from Semele
Symphony #41 “Jupiter” – first movement
Symphony #41 “Jupiter” – finale
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity from The Planets
Twilight: New Moon
Canzone sotto le stella (Song Under the Stars)
La La Land: City of Stars

Featuring
Zeljko Milicevic and Alesia Byrd Johnson, violins
Janine Bradbury, viola
Irina Tikhonova, cello
Gregg Emerson Powell, bass

First Fridays at Longway Planetarium are funded in part by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage. Your tax dollars are at work.

Shooting Stars, Meteorites and More

Date: Friday, April 5
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3 adults, $2 seniors 60+, $2 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $6 adults, $4 seniors 60+, $4 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free admission
Includes 7:00 p.m. opening night showing of Journey to Space. Be among the first to see the new show!

Join Longway Planetarium Executive Director Todd Slisher as he talks about meteors or “shooting stars,” what they are, how best to observe them, and how we’ve classified the meteorites that we’ve found on earth. We will discuss the various meteorite showers each year, and this coming year’s best showers to observe. Todd will also discuss many famous meteorite falls and finds, and will provide an update on NASA’s study of the Michigan/Hamburg meteorite that the Longway team recovered in January 2018.

History of the Milky Way

Date: Friday, March 1
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3 adults, $2 seniors 60+, $2 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $6 adults, $4 seniors 60+, $4 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free admission
Includes 7 p.m. showing of Wonders of the Arctic

We live inside the Milky Way galaxy, named for its resemblance to a stream of spilled milk in the sky. Our understanding of the Milky Way has changed significantly throughout history. During this talk, we'll take a look at both the cultural influences and the scientific advances that have shaped our understanding of our own galaxy in space. We have pictures of many galaxies out in the universe, but no complete picture of our own galaxy. We'll talk about why that is the case, and how we can get around that to learn about our larger home in the universe.

Binocular Astronomy

Date: Friday, February 1
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3 adults, $2 seniors 60+, $2 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $6 adults, $4 seniors 60+, $4 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free admission
Includes 7 p.m. showing of Violent Universe

Guest Speaker: Mike Close
Join us for a talk exploring the use of binoculars to observe the stars, planets and other objects in the night sky. This talk will discuss why binoculars are a great tool for beginning and experienced observers, how to choose and use binoculars for astronomy, a tour of objects in the winter sky that can be observed with binoculars, and more! Mike Close is a member of the Seven Ponds Astronomy Club and a planetarium presenter at Longway Planetarium.

The Life and Times of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler

Date: Friday, January 4
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3 adults, $2 seniors 60+, $2 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $6 adults, $4 seniors 60+, $4 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free admission
Includes 7 p.m. showing of Violent Universe

During this talk we will look at the work done by two of the giants of astronomy in our history books: Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. We will look at their accomplishments in their fields as well as many other aspects of their lives. By looking at who these historic figures were as multidimensional people we can gain a better appreciation for their contributions to our knowledge. Kepler may be the more commonly known figure today but it was Brahe who had the authority during his time. The interplay between his belief structure and that of his pupil Kepler is a fascinating story to be told.

FIRST Robotics

Date: Friday, December 7, 2018
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3 adults, $2 seniors 60+, $2youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $6 adults, $4 seniors 60+, $4 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free admission
Includes 7 p.m. showing of Cosmic Christmas

Join us for robot demonstrations and a talk by John Wohlfert of FIRST Robotics. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a national non-profit organization that engages kids in kindergarten through high school in exciting, mentor-based, research and robotics programs that help them become science and technology leaders, as well as well-rounded contributors to society.

First Fridays: Astronomy, A Year In Review

Date: Friday, November 2, 2018
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3 adults, $2 seniors 60+, $2youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $6 adults, $4 seniors 60+, $4 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free admission
Includes 7 p.m. showing of The Queen Light Show: From Mercury with Love

Join our planetarium manager Buddy Stark for another year in review. This talk explores what we have learned about our universe since the beginning of 2018 and how our view of our solar system has changed. This year includes interstellar asteroids passing through our solar system, a new moon count for Jupiter, a planet with two south magnetic poles, rovers on asteroids, organic compounds on Mars, heavy molecules on Enceladus, news from LIGO, and more!

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