Barton Community College Planetarium presents “The Smartphone Astronomer” Sept. 11

September 5, 2017
Story by Micah Oelze

The Barton Planetarium will host “The Smartphone Astronomer” at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 in the Barton Community College Planetarium located in the Science Building.

This event presents the opportunity to learn how modern technology, like smartphones, can provide powerful tools to explore the night sky and learn about the universe. This will be a hands-on event led by Planetarium Director Dr. Tim Folkerts who will demonstrate apps by projecting his smartphone screen on the dome for the audience to see. Attendees are encouraged to follow along with their own devices. Campus Wi-Fi will be available to download the apps being demonstrated however, it is suggested participants download the apps ahead of time. Some of the included apps are; Star Chart (Free on iOS & Android), The NASA App (Free on iOS & Android), Stellarium ($2.50 iOS & Android, Free on PC) and Heavens-Above (Free on Android and their website).

Dr. Folkerts hopes this will help the community enjoy the fun hobby of stargazing and astronomy.

“I thought this would be an interesting topic because so many people have smartphones,” he said. “This gives them a new cool way to use those phones.”

Upcoming planetarium shows

The following shows, apart from the Christmas show, will run from 7-8 p.m.:

Oct. 9 – “Saturn - The Ring World” and “Great Planet Adventures”

Oct. 23 – “Journey to a Billion Suns”

Nov. 6 – “Dinosaur Prophecy” and “Body Code”

Nov. 27 – “Search for Life in the Universe” and “X-Planets”

Dec. 10 – Christmas Show: “Star of Bethlehem” at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

For more information, please contact Planetarium Director Dr. Tim Folkerts at or (620) 792-9320.

Dr. Tim Folkerts poses for his portrait in the Planetarium.
Dr. Tim Folkerts poses for his portrait in the Planetarium.