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The Antelope

Traversing history of the cosmos


Berrier will give planetarium presentation on history of galaxies on March 2 at 7 p.m.
Andrea Stachura

Assistant professor Dr. Joel Berrier will give a presentation in Nebraska’s newest and largest star theater on March 2 at 7 p.m.  In his show, he will be covering the topic of his research: the formation and evolution of galaxies in the universe; he has seven years of research experience.

Berrier is an assistant professor in the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s physics department. Through the planetarium presentation, Dr. Berrier hopes to convey a sense of scale for the size of the whole universe and to examine the different types of galaxies that we can observe.

Our Milky Way

 is just one of over one hundred billion galaxies in the universe. The planetarium presentation will discuss what galaxies are, how they form and grow and what happens when galaxies collide.

Dr. Berrier c

alls galaxies “islands of stars and matter in an otherwise mostly empty space,” saying that “while individual galaxies can be enormous, the space between them is even more vast.” His presentation will expand on Dr. Mariana Lazarova’s previous show that focused on galaxy collisions. Dr. Berrier has given many presentations to visiting schools and tour groups, but this will be Dr. Berrier’s third Friday night planetarium presentation.

This March 2 show marks the second show after implementing the new online ticket reservation system. Previously, planetarium shows were on a first-come, first-serve basis. This new system has hopes of making visitors feel more confident in seeing a planetarium presentation.

In the event of someone who has reserved seats not attending, their seats will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis immediately before the show begins.

Attendance for campus planetarium shows is free to the public and appropriate for all ages.  The planetarium theater seats 60 people; reservations for planetarium shows can be made at  All planetarium shows start at 7 p.m., and viewers are welcome to bring any donation of canned or dry goods for Kearney’s local food pantry.

The next planetarium show will be “Element Factories in the Stars: The Synthesis of the Chemical Elements” with Dr. Jeremy Armstrong presenting. This show will explore the topic of “how, in the process of shining, the stars manufacture light elements up to iron.” This presentation will also discuss “the processes that synthesize the heavier elements, which are believed to happen when stars explode in supernovas.”

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