Carnegie Science Center names astronomy expert new manager of Buhl Planetarium

Veteran astronomer Daniel Horenstein has been named manager of the Buhl Planetarium & Observatory at the Carnegie Science Center.

Horenstein brings a wealth of research experience studying the stars to his new position, including measuring black hole masses and identifying possible planetary systems still in the process of forming.

He has completed a variety of volunteer projects in the past decade, from answering crowd questions at the World Science Festival to educating students about the solar system.

Horenstein said he is excited about sharing his knowledge of astronomy.

“One of the coolest things about astronomy is that we all share the same night sky,” Horenstein said. “No matter who you are, no matter where you are, when you look up at the night sky, we all see this common shared experience. And the (renovated) Buhl Planetarium provides a vehicle through which we can bring that to people more broadly.”

Horenstein is placing a priority on programs at the museum where people can use telescopes to observe the night sky.

“It’s not just pictures in textbooks,” he said. “It really is there, and the planetarium really complements other programs at the museum. It’s striking how prominent the Carnegie Science Center is in the cultural fabric of Pittsburgh, and it’s remarkable how prominent the planetarium is within the museum. ”

Jason Brown, the Henry Buhl Jr. director of the Carnegie Science Center, said Horenstein’s hiring dovetails perfectly with the opening of a renovated and technologically advanced theater. It features a state-of-the-art digital planetarium projector a new planetarium dome the audience sits under.

“It’s with great excitement that we have Daniel leading the team and inspiring our next generation of educators and science explorers,” Brown said. “Daniel’s experience and expertise in astronomy make him a fantastic addition and a resource to the Pittsburgh regional community as well.”

Horenstein, an experienced astronomy professor, has academic experience through roles at Columbia University, Georgia State University and most recently Santa Ana College. He said it’s important to share knowledge of astronomy with everyone.

“Science is not a secret society. Sharing the excitement of the universe through immersive learning experiences is critical for inspiring the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.”

Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected]

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