Pitt State students and Pittsburg community members had the opportunity to explore outer-space through the view of the Hubble Telescope. The L. Russell Kelce Planetarium hosted “Hubble Vision:2” at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26. The program was an hour long and focused on the discoveries made by the Hubble telescope and exploring galaxies.
“It’s about how far we’ve come as humans,” said Easton Morrill, junior double majoring in math and physics, the lead presenter at the Planetarium. ”We’ve been able to make all these machines and deepen our knowledge so much just from what we’ve been able to create and it’s really cool to see how far we’ve come from monkeys, homo sapiens, spears, you know… and how we’ve evolved into such an intelligent species and being able to look out past our ancestors were able to see and discover some new things.”
Morrill gave a 15-minute presentation at the beginning of the show, highlighting the different types of galaxies: spiral, barred spiral, elliptical, and irregular. He also discussed the history of the Hubble Space Telescope, what it has discovered, and how it is protected. His presentation was followed by a 45-minute video that went into further detail on Hubble and its discoveries.
Teresa Wallen, a Pittsburg community member read about the show in the paper and wanted her husband to see it.
“I thought it was very impressive, and all in all it makes you feel very small in the universe,” she said. “Actually realizing how many galaxies there are and how they go on and on and how old it really is. I thought it would be very interesting to show my significant other.”
She said she learned more about the Hubble Telescope and how “it’s great to know there are scientific people out there viewing this and gaining the knowledge to find out more about this universe.”
Morrill, who has been working at the Planetarium for two years said he likes the shows to be structured similarly to an astronomy course.
“Each one covers a different part, so the way I schedule them is following the course of an astronomy lecture, where you would talk about solar system object… then we can talk about the Hubble Space Telescope, and stuff like that… then we can move out of the solar system… so I kind of try to structure it like that so people who come to consecutive public shows can get an understanding of what an astronomy course would be like.”
Morrill said he finds programs on a website where new programs are made regularly and rent the next program after viewing what options are available.
“So, we go on there and use the money that we make from each presentation to rent the next one,” Morrill said. “If we get more people to come, we’ll be able to rent more and update equipment and stuff.”
Sarah Provard, sophomore in wood technology, attended the event to learn more about space.
“It was really cool to see how freaking small we are,” Provard said. “(I learned) how big the universe is and that we don’t even know the end of it, it just keeps going.”
Morrill said seeing people enjoy the presentation is what drives him to work hard to keep the presentations entertaining.
“I love people… it’s one thing to learn something and it’s a whole ‘nother thing to share that with someone, and it’s just definitely exciting,” he said. “I put in a lot of time to make sure that I can keep it visually entertaining and interesting and keep people’s attention but also communicate some information and making it a learning experience as long as fun.”
He said his hope for people attending is that they “just enjoy it”.
“If you come once and don’t enjoy it and you never come back and never learn… so as long as you can come and enjoy it and take one thing away from it, I’m happy.”