Opening Reception to Celebrate Bishop Planetarium Fiftieth Anniversary

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (August 16, 2016) – A reception to celebrate the opening of the Bishop Planetarium Fiftieth Anniversary exhibit at Downtown Library’s Eaton Room will take place on Wednesday, September 7, at 5:30 PM. The Manatee County Public Library has planned this exhibit in conjunction with South Florida Museum’s anniversary programs.


Director of the Planetarium, Jeff Rodgers, will be the keynote speaker. He will touch on the main highlights since the Planetarium’s opening, including the moon landing, sending a spacecraft to all of the planets and many of the moons and the demotion of Pluto. He also will discuss how information about the latest space science breakthroughs has evolved into anyone having the ability to receive up-to-the-minute astronomy news, as well as the latest high-tech gadgets, such as the ability to strap on an Oculus Rift and fly through virtual space.


The new Bishop Planetarium Eaton Historical Exhibit will provide a history of the Bishop Planetarium and support of the Bishop family and Dr. Sugg, among others. Light refreshments will be served.


Additional South Florida Museum events, celebrating the Planetarium’s anniversary include:


·         think + drink (science) “What You Need to Know About Dark Matter & Dark Energy” with Planetarium Director Jeff Rodgers: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 – 7 pm ($3 Members, $5 Non-members)


·         2016 Members’ Night “Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Bishop Planetarium”: September 20, 2016 – 5 pm (Members Only)


·         Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!: Saturday, September 24, 2016 – 10 am through 5 pm (Free Museum admission with online registration at


·         Stelliferous Live! Monthly Planetarium Star Talk: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – 7 pm ($3 Members, $5 Non-members)


·         IQuest “Mission to Mars”: Saturday, October 8, 2016 – 4-8 pm ($5, Students grades 6-8 ONLY)


·         think + drink (science) “Did Dark Matter Kill the Dinosaurs?” with Planetarium Director Jeff Rodgers: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 – 7 pm ($3 Members, $5 Non-members)


·         Stelliferous Live! Monthly Planetarium Star Talk: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 – 7 pm ($3 Members, $5 Non-members)


About the South Florida Museum: As the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida's Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs that interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions, offering something new to discover with each visit. The Museum includes the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. The Bishop Planetarium is the Gulf Coast's premier astronomy education facility. Now celebrating its 50th year in operation, the Planetarium is outfitted with a state-of-the-art Planetarium and projection system with stunning multimedia capabilities. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is home to Snooty™, Manatee County's official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world, as certified by Guinness World Records. Snooty shares his Aquarium pool with other manatees that have been injured or orphaned and are being rehabilitated for return to the wild as part of the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership. South Florida Museum hours vary by season. Visit for details or call 941-746-4131.


About the Manatee County Public  Library System: The Florida Library Association’s 2016 Library of Year and 2013 “Library Innovation” winner, the Manatee County Public Library System supports the County’s growing community and visitors through a wide range of educational and technological resources and programs at six facilities in downtown Bradenton (Riverwalk), the east county region, the south county area, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Ellenton. Last year, the Library System was visited by nearly 850,000 customers who made use of its resources over 3.7 million times (a record high) and provided 2,000 informational and educational programs which served an estimated 47,000 customers. For more information, call Downtown Library at (941) 748-5555, ext. 6307. For more information on Manatee County Public Library System, visit, follow them at or twitter @manalibraries. For more information about Manatee County Government, call 941-748-4501 or visit, or twitter @ManateeGov