Edelman Planetarium will (moon) rock in October

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Rowan University's Edelman Planetarium has scheduled three days of space education and entertainment for the first week in October, including Moon rock viewing, a concert by Rowan jazz students and th

Rowan University's Edelman Planetarium has scheduled three days of space education and entertainment for the first week in October, including Moon rock viewing, a concert by Rowan jazz students and the premiere of a new planetarium star show.

Samples of lunar materials, often called "Moon rocks," will be on free public display Thursday, October 4 through Saturday, October 6, from 2 to 8 p.m. in the atrium of Rowan's Science Hall. Samples of lunar dust and rocks, including the strange "orange soil" discovered on the last Apollo mission, will be viewable with high-power projection microscopes. The lunar samples are on special loan from NASA for three days only. (Not recommended for pre-school children.)

Denis DiBlasio, the head of Rowan's jazz program, along with members of the University's Lab Band, will present two free concerts under the stars in the planetarium theater on Thursday and Friday, October 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. Multimedia visuals of the wonders of the universe projected on the planetarium dome will accompany cool strains of jazz music. Seating for the "Cosmic Concert" is limited. The planetarium does not take reservations, so plan to arrive early; doors open at 7:45.

A new planetarium star show, "The Great Space Race," will premiere on Thursday, October 4, at 3 p.m., 50 years to the hour of the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik 1. That achievements began a technological contest between two superpowers that drove mankind into space faster than many people believed was possible. Written and produced by high school students from Ott Planetarium at Weber State University, "The Great Space Race" portrays the troubles and the triumphs of this exciting period of human exploration, from Sputnik to the Space Shuttle. Admission for star shows is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 13, Rowan students and seniors older than 60. The show will play all three days, October 4 to 6 at 3 p.m. and again on Saturday, October 6 at 8 p.m. Thereafter it will continue playing at Edelman Planetarium on Saturdays at 7 p.m. from October 13 through December 1.

The planetarium and lunar samples are located in the Science Hall at Rowan University, on the north side of Rt. 322 near the center of the campus. More information is available on the planetarium's Web site, www.rowan.edu/planetarium, and at the planetarium information line, 856-256-LITE (256-5483). The planetarium is supported by a generous grant from Fredric and Jean Edelman.

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