Updates: Buhl Planetarium and Carnegie Library – 2008 December

                Addendum: More Buhl Planetarium News

 

·          Due to the fact that lighting from Pittsburgh’s new casino, which is under construction next-door to The Carnegie Science Center, may hinder astronomical observing from the Science Center, last year Science Center officials claimed that without casino lighting limitations, The Carnegie Science Center Observatory would have to be shut-down. This is despite that fact that, at the original Buhl Planetarium Observatory we were able to view the Moon, Mercury, Venus (including phase), Mars, Jupiter (including cloud belts), and stars down to third-magnitude in the daytime sky, in addition to sunspots and granulation on the surface of the Sun! After negotiations, the Majestic Star Casino (now known as Rivers Casino) agreed to lighting limitations.

·         From 2007 October through 2008 May, The Carnegie Science Center hosted the very popular and very controversial “BODIES…The Exhibition.” Eleven-year Carnegie Science Center Education Department employee Elaine Catz resigned to protest the fact that the for-profit Premier Exhibitions company could not provide assurances that the real cadavers in the exhibit were not from Chinese political prisoners. While the Science Center hailed this exhibit as educational, it should be noted that Buhl Planetarium’s long-running human anatomy exhibit, “Transpara,” was sold-off by the Science Center to the Cleveland Health Museum in the mid-1990s, to be used as spare parts for their transparent woman exhibit!

·         News regarding two astronauts who credit the original Buhl Planetarium in their career decisions. – In 2007 July, NASA introduced an interactive on-line tour of the International Space Station, hosted by Mike Fincke, who is now on his second 6-month mission in the International Space Station. In February, Space Shuttle Atlantis (Mission STS-122 to the International Space Station) was commanded by Stephen N. Frick.

·         For the second year, The Carnegie Science Center has replicated an original Buhl Planetarium event: allowing admission to the Science Center on the Summer Solstice at the cost of a real snowball. Buhl Public Relations Director Jo Lee started this “Solstice Day” event in 1985.

·         Friends of the Zeiss Project Director Glenn A. Walsh represented the organization at a two-day workshop in May, “The Vintage Observatory: Thriving in the 21st Century, held at the Cincinnati Observatory, America’s first major observatory. This was the first such event sponsored by the Antique Telescope Society. After failing to convince Congress, in 1825,  to fund a national observatory, aging former U.S. President John Quincy Adams laid the cornerstone for the Cincinnati Observatory on 1843 November 9. Though not in the best of health, the former president traveled to Cincinnati for the event, as he considered the construction of an observatory as important if the United States was to be internationally recognized for its intellectual and scientific endeavors. This was President Adams’ last public address.

·         James J. Mullaney, Curator of Exhibits and Astronomy at Buhl Planetarium and Staff Astronomer at Allegheny Observatory in the 1960s and 1970s, is about to publish a new sky atlas: The Cambridge Double Star Atlas (Paperback); it is scheduled for release in February. He has also recently written three books: Double & Multiple Stars & How to Observe Them, A Buyer's & User's Guide to Astronomical Telescopes & Binoculars, and The Herschel Objects & How to Observe Them (all by Springer-Verlag).

More information: < http://www.cambridge.org/9780521493437 >.

More Buhl Planetarium/Friends of the Zeiss-Related News

"Update" Year-End Report for 2008 December:
Buhl Planetarium and Carnegie Library

 

gaw

 

Glenn A. Walsh              Internet Web Sites - History of Buhl Planetarium: < http://www.planetarium.cc >

P.O. Box 1041                                        Friends of the Zeiss: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >

Pittsburgh PA 15230-1041                U.S.A.                Science News & Astro-Calendar < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >

Telephone: 412-561-7876                                 Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

E-Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >             Preserving Carnegie Libraries: < http://www.carnegielibraries.pghfree.net >