Mueller Planetarium to explain the new definition of planets

Released on 10/02/2006, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006, through Jan. 28, 2007

WHERE: Mueller Planetarium, University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall), 14th and U Streets

Lincoln, Neb., October 2nd, 2006 —

A new astronomy show at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Mueller Planetarium will attempt to clear up some of the confusion and consternation that has existed since the International Astronomical Union made its decision in August to reclassify Pluto.

Planetarium visitors will have the opportunity to learn what happened and find out what they need to know about Pluto and the rest of our neighborhood in "What the Heck Is Happening with the Planets?"

Jack Dunn, coordinator of Mueller Planetarium, said letters to Web sites and questions from the public in general have increased as the public wonders what to make of the IAU decisions.

"People act like Pluto has been taken out of the solar system, or had its orbiting privileges revoked. But that's not what has happened," Dunn said.

The 30-minute program features beautiful animations of the beginning of the solar system and a flight into the galaxy ending at the Earth. The new show will be presented at 2 and 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays beginning Oct. 7 (except Oct. 21 and Nov. 4, the dates of Nebraska home football games).

The program is tentatively scheduled to be presented through January.

Mueller Planetarium is located in the University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall), one block south of 14th and Vine streets on the UNL City Campus.

Admission to planetarium shows includes admission to the NU State Museum. Planetarium tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for all elementary, secondary and college students, and UNL faculty and staff. Tickets are sold the day of the show at the front desk of the museum, which is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays.

For further information contact Dunn at (402) 472-2641 or, or visit the planetarium's Web site (

CONTACT: Jack Dunn, Coordinator, Mueller Planetarium, (402) 472-2641