Adrian College (AC) hired Mark Fairclough as its new director of the Robinson Planetarium and Observatory on July 15. Fairclough has been associated with the planetarium since 1995. In 2004, Fairclough joined AC as an adjunct faculty member and taught astronomy. He has been an official Robinson Observatory and Planetarium astronomer since 2009. He has an MS from EMU in general science physics/astronomy and a BS in biology from Northern Michigan University. Fairclough also studied astrobiology in 2015 at the University of Edinburgh, and continues research in that area. Fairclough’s new position will entail serving Adrian College students as well as presenting entertaining and educational programs in the planetarium throughout the academic year. Furthermore, he will work on adding more planetarium shows, as they are very popular.
The Robinson Planetarium was built in 1966 in honor of Herbert Robinson, a distinguished industrialist who gave generously to provide the College both a planetarium and observatory. Renovations took place in 2012, partially funded with a generous gift from the Maurice and Dorothy Stubnitz Foundation. Since then, many thousands of people have passed through the planetarium and observatory, including students and visitors. The planetarium and observatory are open to the public.
The Robinson Planetarium is located at the eastern end of Peelle Hall, on the corner of Charles and Williams streets on the Adrian College campus. For more information, see the Planetarium’s web page at http://adrian.edu/campus-life/planetarium/.