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IU Northwest astronomy professor explains fascination with upcoming solar eclipse

Few subjects captivate minds — young and old — quite like astronomy.

Short of boarding a space shuttle, a planetarium offers the best possible environment to satisfy one’s celestial curiosity, and better still, earn credits to fulfill a science requirement at Indiana University Northwest.

On Saturdays while classes are in session, Adjunct Professor Gregg Williams’ astronomy students file into the Merrillville Community Planetarium, where Williams also happens to be the director, and has been for the past 35 years.

The planetarium, housed inside Clifford Pierce Middle School in Merrillville, greets visitors with a model space shuttle suspended from the ceiling and murals of stars and planets adorning the walls. When exiting the 64-seat planetarium, visitors even exit into a mini gift shop.

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