Starry Skies in the Basement

• James Hedberg

An Article from 1975

ccny planetarium campus 1975
The article from March, 1975.

The Marshak Building was called the 'New Science and Physical Education' before it was renamed after Robert Marshak, Physicist and President of CCNY, from 1970–1979. There was much fanfare over the building, and its hidden gem in the basement, the CCNY Planetarium. Here's the full text from the article in the March 7, 1975 issue of The Campus, the CCNY student newspaper.

Basement houses starry skies

By Merrel Finkler

It will not be long before the College's stu­dents will be able to learn the wonders of the universe. Although not many students know about it, there is a planetarium in Room JOlO of the New Science and Physical Education Build­ing.

The Planetarium, which is run by Chi Yuan (Physics) has been used for physics, astronomy, and education classes since it opened approxim­ately 18 months ago.

Yuan is currently working with a graduate student Steve Rothenberg, who is enrolled in an independent studies course in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department. Rothenberg is preparing tapes for the plan­etarium which will include music and narration for various shows. So far, he's completed one tape on the constellations, and plans to make three or four more tapes.

The planetarium, which has proved an extremely suc­cessful teaching aid in the Physics and Astronomy de­partments, is also used in teacher education courses. The prospective teachers gain information about astronomy, as well as learn to make use of a planetarium in teach­ing. They learn to operate equipment and produce pro­grams.

Yuan plans to hire an expert on planetariums to main­tain the equipment. At the present time, the department has a technician for the planetarium; however, Yuan ex­plained, it cannot be properly maintained without pro­fessional help.

Yuan hopes to open the planetarium to the whole College and the community before the end of the semes­ter, when the series of tapes is completed.