The Mayborn Science Theater, located on the campus of Central Texas College, will offer an in-depth look at the fall night sky Saturday, with its monthly star tour at 7 p.m.
Local astronomer Warren Hart will guide the audience on a tour of the constellations and astronomical events visible in the Northern and Southern hemispheres for the coming month.
Weather permitting, Hart will also offer telescope viewing after the star tour. Tickets for the star tour are $5.
Laser Friday is Sept. 30 and features four musical laser light shows. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for children under 12. The shows start at 7 p.m. with the Classic Rock sounds of the ’70s and ’80s in “Laser Vinyl.” Featured artists include AC/DC, Boston, Queen, Aerosmith, Van Halen and more.
At 8 p.m. is “Laser Pop” which offers hits from artists like Pink, Blink 182, N’Sync, the Beach Boys and others.
Techno is the theme at 9 p.m. in “Laser X.” This dance-based electronic music fest gives the audience the feel of a late-night rave scene.
Laser Friday ends at 10 p.m. with “Laser Daft Punk.”
The show uses a mix of computer-graphic laser animations and classic laser abstracts to create a visually stunning presentation set to some of the duo’s biggest hits like “Around the World,” “Da Funk,” “Derezzed,” “Aerodynamic” and more.
The current lineup of Saturday evening shows starts at 7 p.m. with “Astronaut” which takes the audience on the journey into becoming an astronaut. Viewers will experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut then explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station, to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body while discovering the perils that lurk in space.
At 8 p.m. is “The Cowboy Astronomer.” Cowboy poet and humorist Baxter Black narrates a variety of mythological stories and other tales gathered over many years of watching the night sky. After a look at the constellations of several seasons, the show examines the relationship between the apparent colors and temperatures of stars and the life cycle of stars. Black engages the audience with information about young stars, super novae, various constellations and several Native American star tales.
One of the Mayborn Science Theater’s newest full-dome shows, “Solar Superstorms” is at 9 p.m. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, this is one of the most intensive efforts ever made to visualize the inner workings of the sun. The show takes viewers into the tangle of magnetic fields and superhot plasma that vent the sun’s rage in dramatic flares, violent solar tornadoes and the largest eruptions in the solar system - coronal mass ejections.
The Mayborn Science Theater also offers Saturday matinees starting at 11 a.m. with “Kaluoka’hina: The Enchanted Reef.” A one-of-a-kind tropical reef, undiscovered by mankind, is disrupted by a volcanic catastrophe. Now it’s up to two young fish to restore the magic of their home and save their beloved reef. This is a humorous adventure story filled with many informative details about the fantastic world under water and it serves to sharpen our awareness about preserving our environment. The show is accompanied by story-time activities with the book “Pirates Love Underpants.” “Kaluoka’hina” also airs at 1 p.m.
At noon is “In My Backyard” which features Nickelodeon’s Fred Penner narrating and singing during a lively journey into his backyard. The audience will discover all sorts of things including the colors of the rainbow, bugs and spiders, the different seasons, the planets, the moon and the stars in the nighttime sky.
“We Are Astronomers” is at 2 p.m. Join astronomers from around the globe as they work together endeavoring to answer the unresolved questions of the stars by using incredible scientific technology. The audience participates in an international quest to uncover the secrets of far off galaxies, decipher the code of starlight and is immersed in the world of exotic galaxies and endless possibilities and chart changes and challenges in stargazing since time began.
At 3 p.m. is “Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea.” Two children embark on a geology field trip back in time and are thrown into a fantastic voyage where they witness incredible geological wonders and learn the mysterious process that created our present-day continents. From racing across the landscape atop dinosaurs, to plummeting to the center of the Earth, this animated show is an educational and adventurous thrill ride.
The last matinee show, “Stars: The Powerhouses of the Universe,” is at 4 p.m. Narrated by Mark Hamill of “Star Wars’” fame, the show details every phase of a star’s existence – from their birth to their stunning deaths. The show takes the audience on a journey to the furthest reaches of our galaxy to experience the beauty and destructive powers of stars.
Matinee shows are $5 per person and the Saturday evening shows are $7 for adults and $6 for children under the age of 12. Discounts are offered to active-duty military, senior citizens and members. Visit www.starsatnight.org for complete show descriptions, directions to the Mayborn Science Theater, membership information and more.