Planetarium Observes International Year Of Astronomy - News and Events for Texas A&M University-Commerce in East Texas
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Planetarium Observes International Year Of Astronomy

Planetarium Observes International Year Of Astronomy

COMMERCE, Texas – It’s the International Year of Astronomy and the Texas A&M University-Commerce Planetarium has joined more than 100 planetariums, museums, nature centers, and schools across the country in the observance.

Visitors, who come to the Friday evening shows at the A&M-Commerce Planetarium in the Science Building, see a clip about the International Year of Astronomy, which marks 400 years since Galileo first turned his telescope to the night skies in 1609.

The hallway next to the A&M-Commerce Planetarium features two new posters — 3 foot by 3 foot and 3 foot by 6 foot images of the spiral galaxy Messier 101 (M101). The posters are from the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Chandra X-ray Observatory.

M101 is a spiral galaxy about 25 million light years away in the constellation Ursa Major, which is larger than the Milky Way galaxy.

“The A&M-Commerce Planetarium is planning a number of events throughout the year to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy and the unveiling of the poster is just the first,” said director Dr. Kent Montgomery. Other events include a public observing night at the A&M-Commerce Observatory and a special Planetarium show about Galileo to be presented this summer.

NASA released the images in conjunction with Galileo’s birthday on Feb. 15.

The M101 images and a list of places exhibiting these images can be found at, Find out more about NASA’s contributions to the International Year of Astronomy at

The A&M-Commerce Planetarium is presenting “Ice Worlds” on Fridays through March 20. Shows are at 7 and 8 p.m.

Reservations in advance are recommended and can be made by calling 903-468-8650 or emailing


PLANETARIUM POSTERS — The astronomy classes at Texas A&M University-Commerce take time for a photo in the hallways of the Planetarium. The students and faculty have been enjoying the two new posters on the wall in the hallway near the Planetarium of the spiral galaxy Messier 101. NASA released the images of Messier 101 as part of the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy and 400 years since Galileo first turned his telescope to the night skies in 1609.

(A&M-Commerce photo/Paul Bryan)

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