Outreach for the stars: UW Planetarium brings astronomy education to kids of all ages

Dr. Ana Larson, a senior lecturer in astronomy, operates software inside the UW planetarium, which enables people to explore the night sky on campus.

Every Friday they gather. They collect at the foot of the astronomy building’s pendulum and wait for an eager volunteer to guide them into the darkness. They are old, young, and middle-aged, but above all else they are enthusiastic.

The audience steps into a round dome, where the seats are designed to look up, not forward. The lights dim, the planetarium’s seven computers hum to life, and on the ceiling, stuff appears.

What is that stuff? And how did it come to be there?

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