MSU’s Annual ‘Painting at the Planetarium’ Shines at Abrams 

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Michigan State’s Abrams Planetarium ensures students can always see a sky full of stars, even on a cloudy day, with magic around every corner. Hosting several events in the first week of February,this planetarium was quite a busy place.  

“We have a lot of events that we do, we do birthday parties and we’ve had people’s weddings here and proposals and stuff like that, so it’s great,” said Kylie Hunter, a third-year student studying environmental geography and a cashier at the Planetarium. “We see more and more numbers, after COVID we took a hit so we’re happy to have all these different events and many people coming in.” 

The University Activities Board also hosts its annual “Painting at the Planetarium” event, allowing students to take a break and paint their own night sky.  

Picture credits: Instagram, @uabatmsu

“This event is essentially just a session to watch a star show and paint,” said Simran Sompore, the outreach and inclusion coordinator at UAB. It’s a great way for people to learn more about the Abrams Planetarium, engage students in astronomy, and bring the culture together.”  

The planetarium hosts several different shows. Each lasts approximately 30 minutes and is followed by a 30-minute live presentation of the current evening sky.  

“The shows are pretty popular, sometimes we fill out and hit our max [180 seats] and have to stop selling tickets, those are good nights,” Hunter said. “We even make sure the place itself is engaging, like we have two thousand cranes up for display to spread awareness about children who pass away because of cancer every year, things like that, we even repainted and remodelled a lot of things.” 

There was something for everyone at the Planetarium. Even if they weren’t experts on stars, the night sky or knew exactly where to spot a constellation. 

“The show is about the night sky, so that includes the different constellations you can see if you can see any planets any telescope or anything, so it’s a projected version of the night sky and students are able to see and enjoy even if they don’t understand or know where to look for those constellations or plants,” said Brett Brosky, the membership and retention coordinator at UAB. 

The event attendees were no less than surprised by this painting event. To them, it meant more than just painting on a black canvas. This event was a creative outlet for many students.  

“I’m really excited to see the show,” said Eshal Sajjad, a first-year biochemistry and molecular biology student. “I am here with friends and I am having fun. I actually really like stars and painting and I’m really creative and this is just the perfect mashup.”  

The event is one to look forward to every year. Students make beautiful memories and night sky paintings and leave with knowledge about stars, constellations, and planets.  

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