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Month / Year News Archives

Planetarium Ground Breaking

Celebrate with A Time for Science on June 20, 9:00-10:00 am, in the breaking ground for the geodesic dome that will soon house the Chia-yu Li Planetarium. This facility, expected to be completed by October, will be the only planetarium and fulldome, digital-video, multimedia theater in eastern North Carolina.  No pre-registration is necessary. Plenty of parking is available.

See the flyer here.

Update: See updates to this news item here.

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    Planetarium Sneak Peak

    We will have a “sneak peak” inside the Pitt Dome for what’s in store in the only planetarium and fulldome, digital-video, multimedia theater in the eastern North Carolina.  See what will be available very soon at the Chia-yu Li Planetarium on the campus of ATFS.  Each presentation can accommodate only around 27 attendees.  See our Planetarium Sneak Peak page for further details and registration.


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      Solar Quest at Pirate Fest


      • “Solar Quest” is a full dome planetarium short feature that demonstrates how the Sun and Earth are interconnected and that we are “Living with a Star”.
      • High quality animations display solar phenomena such as fusion and light energy as well as solar surface features and events. Granules, solar flares and coronal mass ejections are highlighted.
      • The show discusses the impacts of space weather and how the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protects all life on Earth.
      • “Solar Quest” features the role of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and how scientists are using it as a way to help identify and predict sever space weather. Actual videos of the Sun from SDO are used where the audience can actually see the large amount of energy being released.
      • “Solar Quest” was produced by the Buhl Planetarium as a support program for Carnegie Science Center’s “Science on the Road” school assembly program of the same name. It can be used as a supplement to any live presentations about the Sun.
      • Both the planetarium and school assembly show have been funded through a grant from NASA’s Heliophysics Division.

      See it at the Tipsy Teapot every half hour during Pirate Fest, April 12

      Admission $3.00, and includes all use and sales taxes


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        Earth Day 2014

        Activities will be going on all day long on April 22.  Car-pool with a group, bring a picnic and stay all day.  Start early with both bird and frog walks. Learn to take care of your organic garden with biochar and take home some recipes for fresh produce therefrom.  Take an afternoon meditation walk and/or a stroll through the Solar System.  Build a “worm hotel” watch a film about the “Father of Wild-life Biology” and walk where the deer roam.  This event will run from 6:30 am to  6:00 pm and the cost is $10.00 per car.  See our poster on this event here for all activities for the day.

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          Planetarium Coming to A Time for Science

          ** Press Release **

          ATFS Dome

          Artist Rendering of Planetarium Dome and Resource Center at A Time For Science

          The late Dr. Chia-yu Li, former chairman of ECU’s Department of Chemistry and long-time science educator, was an important figure in the lives of both Phil Hodges and John Bray, the founders of Metrics, Inc.  Dr. Li also played an important role in the early development of that local company.  In his honor, both the Li family and Phil and Lisa Hodges have contributed the seed funding to build a planetarium on the campus of A Time For Science Nature and Science Learning Center which is a non-profit center founded by John and Nancy Bray.  Consisting of a geodesic dome which will house an inflatable projection dome and a state-of-the-art digital projector, the “Chia-yu Li Memorial Planetarium” will provide much easier access to astronomy, space science and the planetarium experience for students and residents of the area.  When not in use as a planetarium, the geodesic dome will provide much needed additional activity space for the Center.  Pitt Community College has partnered with ATFS to provide a smaller, inflatable projection dome so that when the main dome is not in use this system available to their astronomy classes and to provide ATFS with capabilities for outreach to other locations.

          With over $200,000 $280,000 (updated: June 9, 2014) already pledged toward a goal of $500,000, Dr. Walter Pories and Phil Hodges are co-chairing the capital campaign for ATFS.  Should that goal be exceeded, the addition of an observatory is also in the planning stages. Dr. Bray says, “I am convinced that this is an eminently doable project that will greatly expand STEM education, tourism and economic development potentials of Pitt, Lenoir, Greene and surrounding Counties.” For more information on how you can contribute to this worthwhile endeavor visit the Contribute Page or contact Executive Director Emily Jarvis at emily@atimeforscience.org or at (252) 531-7203.

          Update:  See our new page on the Planetarium here.


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            February Events

            A number of items coming up this month:

            Each Saturday (Feb 1, 8, 15, 22)
            On the Trail to Fitness
            Combine your exercise program with a connection to Nature. Walk or run along the 3-K Fitness Trail around three lovely ponds and workout at the 10 fitness stations.  Or simply amble along the trail for a pleasant Saturday walk.

            February 8
            Second Saturday Family Fun Day
            Take a guided walk along one of the Conservancy trails and gather material to make your own “Nature Valentine.”  Please register by February 7.

            February 18
            Citizen Science Night
            Learn how you can assist NASA and other scientists in studying the distribution and effects of light pollution through simple “naked-eye” observations of the night sky.

            February 22
            Carolina Skies Astronomy Club — Star Party
            The indoor program will be all about NASA’s MAVEN Mission to Mars.  The Mars Atmosphere & Volatile EvolutioN Mission was launched on November 18, 2013.  When it arrives at Mars it will orbit the planet for a year observing the climate and atmosphere in preparation for human occupation.

            February 24
            Fourth Monday Family Night
            Location – Chick-Fil-A  Winterville
            5:00 pm to 7:30 pm
            Cost – No Charge
            In preparation for the March Winds we will be making “Pin-less Pinwheels.”

            Save the Date – March 22
            Love A Sea Turtle Annual 5k Run & Nature Walk
            Proceeds fund summer camps at A Time For Science Nature and Science Learning Center for underserved youth as well as turtle awareness and education.

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