Buhl Planetarium

The Buhl Planetarium's 75th Anniversary Celebration

Oct 22, 2014
German Federal Archive

Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium opened to great fanfare in October of 1939. The Buhl's Zeiss II Planetarium Projector was the first such projector to be placed on an elevator, and the Theatre of the Stars was the first planetarium theatre to include a permanent theatrical stage and a special sound system for the hearing-impaired.

We talk with Glenn Walsh, Project Director of Friends of the Zeiss, and Former Astronomical Observatory Coordinator and Planetarium Lecturer for the Original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh sky has a busy schedule this week, with a meteor shower tonight and a partial solar eclipse Thursday.

That’s according to Dan Malerbo, Buhl Planetarium and Observatory program development coordinator, who said the best time to watch the Orionid meteor shower is between midnight and dawn Tuesday and away from the city lights.

“Under some clear skies you could probably see up to 20 meteors per hour,” Malerbo said. “These meteors radiate, they come out of direction from Orion the Hunter, up by his bright star, Betelgeuse, from that area of the sky.”

NASA Landsat / Wikipedia

Late last month, the CIA released a classified report on the U2 spy plane. The report confirmed what many people have believed for decades. A secret military facility known as Area 51 does indeed exist.

Robert Marshall, program development coordinator of the Buhl Planetarium and Observatory says Area 51 is essentially a Department of Defense studio, where prototypes are tested.