SUNY Potsdam Offers Free Planetarium Shows and Seismology Workshops Again This Fall

Professor Emeritus Dr. Frank Revetta Leads Free Educational Sessions at SUNY Potsdam Again this Semester

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POTSDAM, NY (08/24/2018) SUNY Potsdam Geology Professor Emeritus Dr. Frank Revetta, Hon. '05, will offer two free educational series again this fall -- including his popular planetarium shows and a series of seismology workshops.

This is the 54th year that Dr. Revetta has led planetarium shows and taught seismology at the College. In recognition of his dedicated service, SUNY Potsdam dedicated the planetarium in his honor this summer, during Reunion Weekend.

"Astronomy is the oldest science, and it's really something that most people have an interest in. You know, I often wonder about what's out there. That's just normal. When people come to a planetarium show, I think they already have an interest and I just make it more so. I consider it to be the best instrument up here for teaching," he said.

Planetarium shows are held every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m., in the Dr. Frank A. Revetta Planetarium, located in the basement of Stowell Hall. Each show lasts about 45 minutes, and guests of all ages are welcome.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, because once the show begins, the door is locked. Please note that no food or drink are allowed in the planetarium and, as darkness is required, cell phones cannot be used during the show. Free parking is available in Lot 6, near Kellas Hall.

The Fall 2018 planetarium show schedule is as follows:

  • Sept. 6: "Circumpolar Constellations"
  • Sept. 13: "North Star (Polaris)"
  • Sept. 20: "Spring & Summer Constellations"
  • Sept. 27: "Winter Constellations"
  • Oct. 4: "Brightest Stars"
  • Oct. 11: "Worldwide Constellations"
  • Oct. 18: "How Astronomers Locate Stars"
  • Oct. 25: "Solstices & Equinoxes"
  • Nov. 1: "The Sun's Path"
  • Nov. 8: "The Seasons"
  • Nov. 15: "Constellations of the Zodiac"
  • Nov. 29: "Using the Big Dipper to Locate Constellations"
  • Dec. 6: "The Sky this Week"
  • Dec. 13: "Stories of Constellations"
  • Dec. 20: "Southern Constellations"

Seismology workshops will be held every Thursday at 3 p.m., in Stowell Hall Room 131. The workshops will consist of hands-on activities dealing with the use of real seismic equipment and seismograms of local and distant earthquakes.

The class size is limited to 10 people, so participants are urged to arrive early. Parking is also available in Lot 6.

The Fall 2018 seismology workshop schedule is as follows:

  • Sept. 6: "Plate Tectonic Theory and Basic Principles"
  • Sept. 13: "Are Earthquakes a Hazard in Northern New York? Papers on Massena, Goodnow and AuSable Quakes"
  • Sept. 20: "How Do We Detect Earthquakes? Vertical, Horizontal and Three-Component Seismometers"
  • Sept. 27: "Local Earthquakes: Western Quebec Seismic Zone"
  • Oct. 4: "Travel-Time Curves and Earth's Interior"
  • Oct. 11: "Seismogram Interpretation: Travel-Time Curves and Seismograms of the Loma Prieta and Northridge, California Earthquakes"

In addition to the scheduled sessions, Revetta also offers planetarium shows for groups of five people or more at your convenience. For more information about the planetarium shows and seismology workshops, please contact Revetta at (315) 267-3441 or

To learn more about SUNY Potsdam's Department of Geology, visit

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit