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Special Rollins Planetarium Presentation to Showcase Rare Astronomical Event

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Media Contact: Krystin Dean
(706) 379-5310,

Special Rollins Planetarium Presentation to Showcase Rare Astronomical Event

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Young Harris College’s O. Wayne Rollins Planetarium will present a special planetarium show at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, to showcase a rare astronomical event as the planet Venus passes directly in front of the sun. Immediately following the show, visitors will have the opportunity to safely observe the transit of Venus at 6 p.m. outside Maxwell Center on the YHC campus. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children and free with YHC ID.

A transit of Venus is among the rarest of predictable astronomical events, and the next one will not occur until 2117. Such transits were once considered to be of great scientific importance. In the 18th and 19th centuries, nations sent teams of astronomers around the globe in a quest to measure the size of the earth’s solar system. Today, astronomers use the transit method to discover new planets around distant suns. Now you have the opportunity to enjoy a front-row seat to this cosmic spectacle!

The show at 5:30 p.m. will include a simulation of the transit using the planetarium’s full-dome digital projection system. During the transit, Venus will appear as a small black dot moving across the face of the sun.

Safe viewing of the transit through a telescope requires special filters and optical instruments. Two properly outfitted telescopes will be set up outside Maxwell Center for optimal viewing between 6 and 7 p.m.

For a safe, non-magnified viewing of the transit of Venus, visitors can also use specially coated solar viewing glasses that can also be used to view solar eclipses. A limited number of these glasses will be available free of charge at the planetarium on a first-come, first-served basis.

O. Wayne Rollins Planetarium features a state-of-the-art GOTO Chronos Space Simulator star projector with a state-of-the-art full-dome digital projection system, the Sky-Skan Definiti, in a 40-foot dome theater. Recently renovated with comfortable seating for 104, Rollins Planetarium offers public shows and educational opportunities for school groups throughout the year. Rollins Planetarium is located in the Maxwell Center on the campus of Young Harris College.

For more information about planetarium and observatory events, call (706) 379-5195 or visit

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. Long known for nurturing students during the first two years of college, Young Harris College received accreditation in 2008 to grant bachelor’s degrees. The College currently has approximately 900 students across four divisions—Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences—and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this certification, a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center, the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification, and a 148-bed, apartment-style residential village. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics. For more information, visit