A Love Affair with the Night Sky

This beautiful display of the constellations as they appear in our winter sky was designed by our Museum creative team. It consists of multi-layered glass and plexi-glass sheets and various colored LED lights around the circumference which illuminate the constellations. Here you see how the 5 foot display creates the centerpiece of the Starry, Starry Night exhibition (you are also seeing a reflection of the comic strips on the opposite wall).

This Peanuts strip was originally published on September 6, 1957.

Looking at all of Sparky’s strips beginning in the late 50’s and continuing into the 60’s that deal with the wonder of the heavens, I began to wonder myself how and when a boy from the city would have become enraptured with the night sky. I’m projecting that it was when he was in the army – both in Kentucky and in Europe – sleeping under the stars and thinking of home. The Starry, Starry Night exhibition came about because our creative team recognized that the many strips on this theme were interesting enough to explore in their own exhibition.


For the January school holiday of Martin Luther King Day, the Museum had a free afternoon so visitors could come experience a mini planetarium show – with the night sky projected onto a dome – and see what planets and constellations would be visible that night. You can see that the dome took up the entire width of the Great Hall.


Parents and children stand in line waiting for the next show.


I discovered one of the children emerging from the experience and decided if she could do it, so could I…it was a real adventure crawling in and out!


The presenter is Allan Stern from Portable Planetarium Shows. You can listen to David Levy, former Parade Magazine science editor, interview Allan at www.letstalkstars.com/archive.asp?year=2005.



Outside one of our volunteers and a Museum staff member were overseeing the age old fun activity of focusing the sun’s rays onto a piece of wood.

It excites me that we are able to present these programs free to the community, and I hope this will spark the imagination of future scientists, artists, or philosophers.

— Jean Schulz

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