Planetarium Night Dr. Thorne

Planetarium Night with Dr. Jim Thorne

Singing through space

Astronautical Engineer Jim Thorne was in town offering a unique and fun way to explore space during a performance on Jan. 9 at Port Chester Middle School.

Using stories and songs, Dr. Thorne shared information about space and space exploration by sharing the adventures of Laura and Tommy, two enthusiastic space explorers who enjoy traveling through the solar system.  

Dr. Thorne, an engineering graduate of Purdue University, went on to serve for more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and later earned a master’s and Ph.D. in astronautical engineering. He has a scientific equation named after him, referred to as “Thorne’s solution of the Lambert Problem,” which helps to solve an orbital mechanics issue that even puzzled Isaac Newton.

When not on the road entertaining astronomy enthusiasts, Dr. Thorne writes and records his music and has released two albums. He is currently involved in creating and starring in a children’s television series “Space Quest with Dr. Jim,” which can be seen on YouTube.

The Planetarium Night was organized by astronomy teacher Jaime Rufo and was enjoyed by members of the community. It was also an opportunity for Dr. Thorne to test audience members knowledge about space through a series of questions asked between songs.

It may have come as a surprise to many in the audience to learn that there is indeed gravity in space — but you cannot feel it if you are falling in space.

Here shared this and other interesting tidbits as the program continued.

The next Planetarium Night will be held on Feb. 13. Ms. Rufo said the program will explore the intriguing case in which then-lawyer Abraham Lincoln had a client acquitted of murder based on the phase of the moon the evening the murder took place.