The Christenberry Planetarium staff held the inaugural show of its Infinite Possibility: Celebrating Women in Astronomy series at Samford University on March 1.
Samford student Kailey Johnson stared up in amazement as she learned about female astronaut Peggy Whitson at the Christenberry Planetarium.
“I think it’s cool to recognize women that do great things,” she said.
She said her mother wanted to be an astronaut, and while that did not come to be, it did spark Johnson’s own interest in space and those who contribute to the field. Full Dome Production and Multimedia Specialist Christina Moraitis put these women’s accomplishments on full display.
“It’s pretty much women in astronomy and other sciences too and how those sciences tie in to astronomy,” Moraitis said.
She also said that the staff wanted to put the show on now since March is Women’s History Month.
“The different women that work in the planetarium–that would be me, Alison and hannah and then also Jackie, and Ashton and a couple of others will also be presenting on different women in science and astronomy,” she said. “Everyone is giving presentations on their specific major — their specific science major —and how it ties into women in astronomy and in the specific field like chemistry, or medical stuff.”
For their first show, staff members Allie Horne and Hannah Hynds presented facts about Peggy Whitson and Tracy Caldwell Dyson, respectively, who both worked on the International Space Station.
The format of each show in the series will feature two female staff members presenting on two female astronomers. This will culminate in a final show led by Moraitis herself, covering multiple female astronomers.
“It’s in the making so far, so I haven’t memorized anything,” she said.
Moraitis said that she wants people to come away from these shows with a feeling of inspiration from these amazing women.
“The goal of doing this is not only to educate people on all the great things women have done in astronomical science, but also to help inspire young girls who come to our shows, even older young girls like teenagers, maybe people in college,” she said.
Johnson said she definitely felt the inspiration that night.
The shows will be held on March 1, 8, 22 and 29 at 8 p.m.
Griffin Schou, Head Copy Editor