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Physics Contact

Interim Department Chair:

David Kuehn

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Contact Person:
Desirae Tyler

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Phone: 620-235-4391
Fax: 620-235-4050

Physics Department
Yates Hall Room 307
Pittsburg State University
1701 South Broadway
Pittsburg KS 66762

L. Russell Kelce Planetaritum and moonL. Russell Kelce Planetarium

The planning of Yates Hall, a Math and Physics building occurred from 1962-1963. The President of the university, Dr. Leonard H. Axe, insisted that the building include a planetarium. There were, however, no funds available to pay for a star projector for the planetarium. In the fall of 1963, Mrs. Gladys Kelce provided funds to pay for the planetarium as a memorial to her husband, L. Russell Kelce. The planetarium opened in July of 1964, and saw 10,000 visitors the first year. Most of these visitors were from schools.

Today, the planetarium still provides programs for schools (elementary, secondary, and university), churches, and other groups, as well as public programs. Schools, churches, groups, etc. can schedule private programs to fit their needs. Each program features a tour of the current night sky and a topical program.

The planetarium has a seating capacity of around 50 individuals and is wheelchair accessible. The projector, a Digitarium Zeta, is capable of projecting stars, constellations, planets, the sun, the moon (and phases), daily motion of the sky, yearly motion of the sky, and motion to view the sky from any latitude on Earth. The planetarium also uses slides and music during shows.

For information on scheduling a private program, click here to email Mrs. Desirae Tyler, secretary for the Physics Department or call (620) 235-4391.

Public programs feature a tour of the night sky and a short feature.  Admission is $3 per adult and $2 for students, children and seniors (cash at door). 

For the Fall 2015 semester, public programs are scheduled on Tuesdays as follows:

Dates Start Times Short Feature Title
Oct 6 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm Back to the Moon Again
Oct 13 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm Back to the Moon Again
Oct 27 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm Back to the Moon Again

Doors close promptly at these start times and entry afterwards is not permitted due to dark adaptation of the audience.