The Marie Drake Planetarium

Where the stars always shine in Juneau, AK

2018 Media Articles

Planetarium Talk on Gravitational Waves

January 2018

Marie Drake Planetarium is Jan. 16 hosting a presentation on gravitational waves.

Gravitational waves were predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity in 1916 but not observed until 2015. They’re created by extremely dense objects, like neutron stars and black holes, orbiting in pairs. The dynamics of these objects distort space-time, creating ripples that can be detected with sensitive instruments. Three American scientists received the 2017 Nobel prize in Physics for their role in the discovery. The talk is aimed at adults, but anyone may attend.

The talk, given by Steve Kocsis, will be preceded by “The Stars Tonight” on the planetarium’s Spitz projector. It’s a chance to see what the stars would look like over Juneau with a clear sky.

August 13, 2018 Juneau Empire

Everyone’s talking about the solar eclipse coming up, and volunteers at the Marie Drake Planetarium are ready to tell you how to experience it.

This coming Tuesday, Aug. 15, volunteers from Juneau’s planetarium will be at the Valley Library to provide some answers about the eclipse and how to take it in. The event is free, and begins at 7 p.m.

Though Alaska isn’t in the area of the country that will be able to see the full eclipse, the event will be at least somewhat visible from Juneau. The planetarium volunteers will talk about what exactly will be visible during the event, when it will happen and how people can safely view it.

Photographer gives insight into taking pictures of space

August 22

Taking photographs of the stars can prove challenging, but a talk at the Marie Drake Planetarium this week could make it easier for those who attend.  At 7 p.m. Tuesday, David Hanson will share his experiences and tips for astrophotography, and will talk about some of the challenges of taking photos in Juneau. Hanson is an amateur astronomer who specializes in astrophotography. The presentation is free, and afterward there will be the usual “The Stars Tonight” presentation that gives a view of the night sky.

Hanson will show a gallery of his photographs and give a guided tour through what exactly is in each image. After that, he’ll talk about the equipment, techniques and software used for astrophotography. Hanson will have a telescope set up on a tripod and a mounted camera. Anybody can attend, but the talk is aimed at teens and adults.

Planetarium presentation looks into ancient societies

September 18
Anyone who steps into Marie Drake Planetarium tonight will be stepping back in time.

Starting at 7 p.m., planetarium board member Rosemary Walling will give attendees insight into how ancient societies used the stars, the sun, the moon and seasons to form their calendars. Walling, who has taught astronomy at the University of Alaska Southeast, will touch on societies from Babylon to the Americas and will share insight into how those ancient calendars affect our modern timekeeping.. The free program is intended for children 10 and up, but anyone may attend. The planetarium is located at 1415 Glacier Avenue between Harborview Elementary and Juneau-Douglas High School, inside the Marie Drake Building. The presentation is expected to last until about 8:15 p.m.