News

Stellar MCC Planetarium shows now streamable

Mesa Community College (MCC) Planetarium shows are available virtually thanks to a recent partnership with an American computer firm. Evans and Sutherland, which specializes in digital projections and graphics, tailored the videos meant for the planetarium dome to the remote classroom. 

“They were modified to look good on a flat-screen like a computer monitor or a YouTube video,” said MCC Planetarium coordinator James Enos.

The MCC Planetarium, once home to many school field trips, is currently closed to the public due to health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Enos explained the opportunity Evans and Sutherland created will let teachers and students across the valley access the Planetarium’s shows. 

“We have lists that we can distribute to teachers or students or whoever is interested, and then they can watch it in the comfort of their own home or in the classroom, pretty much whenever they want,” Enos said.

The collaboration’s main purpose is a safe classroom education. Enos said he reached out to various school districts in the community and gained interest quickly, especially from Tempe teachers. However, anyone interested is advised to contact Enos.

“They have to shoot me an email because we’re not supposed to post these publicly,” Enos said. “I’m handing these out to basically anyone who shows interest. If some parents or some young kids are interested in this, I’ll be like, here you go!”

Videos range from “Birth of Planet Earth” to “Invaders or Mars.” “Dynamic Earth,” narrated by Liam Neeson, allows audiences to “ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents,” according to the MCC website.”

Check out the list of available shows at the link below. https://www.mesacc.edu/departments/physical-science/astronomy/planetarium. 

“Things are hard these days,” said Enos. “We’re just trying to make it easier for people to get a quality education.”

Contact Planetarium coordinator James Enos at james.enos@mesacc.edu. A link will be provided.

About Author

Allison Cripe is the Social Media Editor and reporter for the Mesa Legend. She also writes songs and short stories such as this one in Across the Margin: https://acrossthemargin.com/flesh-colored-shell/. Dogs are her spirit animal(s).