Life Under the Dome Blog

March 5, 2017:  I wish that I could say Happy New Year, but that happened about two months ago.  It is great to be so busy with students of all ages visiting the Planetarium.  This spring we will be opening our doors to outside groups on days that MISD Transportation is busy with other events.  It will be great to be serving the community as well as MISD students.  We are currently preparing for three community event:  Yuri's Night on April 12th from 6:30-8pm, Spring Star Party on April 21st from 6-9pm and our ReadPlayTalk event on May 19th from 2-4pm.  These are all free any open to the public.  We hope to see you there!

Older Blog entries:
November 15, 2017:  Can you believe that the holidays are here?  Things have been so busy (hence the silence on this blog) at the Planetarium.  We had a successful Solar Eclipse Party with more than 500 people visiting our facility at one point in time that day.  Thank you all for being patient and sharing your solar glasses with one another.  Our next event was the International Observe the Moon Party on October 28th.  We had to compete for participants and dark skies with the competition at Memorial stadium, but we still had some people come out and view celestial objects through telescopes, complete activities and see free fulldome video shows.  We are looking forward to our spring activities which include another Star Party, a ReadPlayTalk event and an event on Yuri Gagarin's birthday (the first man in space).  Please keep an eye out for advertising for these events through Mesquite ISD and on our marquee.  I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

August 23, 2017:  Welcome back to school, MISD.  I know it has been a long time since I have updated 'Under the Dome', but here I am doing it now.  As you may know we just had a pretty darn cool event happen across the United States on Monday, the SOLAR ECLIPSE! While we didn't see a total solar eclipse, we did experience a partial eclipse that was so exciting.  We had did have a star party that day with an activity and a dome show that many people enjoyed as well as we were able to hand out some free and loaner glasses as well.  Please be sure to check out the YouTube that our Mesquite Media team created.  And thank you for making the event special.  We are planning our next event on Saturday, October 28th which will be on International Observe the Moon day.  The event will be in the evening and will be free for all.  Please try to come out!

January 9, 2017: Happy New Year! The Planetarium is currently being upgraded with a new computer system. Currently the computers are in route from our vendor, Spitz, Incorporated. Once they arrive, get installed and I get trained on the new software, The Layered Earth, I will be recreating EVERYTHING. So I definitely have my work cut out for me. But I am excited to see what my new system has to offer and get shows made for the third graders that will begin visiting on January 23rd. I promise I will write more when I see how awesome everything is. Stay warm and look to the stars!

October 18, 2016: Well, the year is finally underway. We have already seen our 8th graders, WMHS Astronomy students and are in the midst of seeing our 5th graders. Discussing some of my favorite Astronomy concepts with our students has been awesome so far. Whether they love astronomy or not, I feel blessed every day to have the students of Mesquite ISD. One of the main things that I have witnessed is the amazing drive that our students have. Each class completes some sort of student data sheet and I have found that all of our students put forth the effort to attempt and complete the work. I applaud each and everyone of their teachers for shaping this behavior. I look forward to all of the students that are scheduled to come.

August 23, 2016. Welcome back, students and faculty. I know these first few days are exciting, hectic and maybe even overwhelming for all. I wish everyone the best for a successful school year. I am looking forward to my first group of students - the MISD 8th Graders - to visit the Planetarium in the beginning of September. I have updated my shows and I am excited to show them to you.
I am very excited to be getting a production system upgrade. The projection will stay the same, but the processing and production will be upgraded at the end of the fall semester/beginning of the spring semester. With that, will come The Layered Earth. This means we can see various aspects of the Earth on the dome including weather, human interaction with the earth, geological layers and processes and more. My inner geologist will have so much fun sharing this with you all.
I will also be hosting some Space Science Nights at the planetarium throughout the school year. These will take place after school and will be open to everyone. I will hope to include something for each age level.
Good Luck and don't forget to look into the sky. You may not find a Pokemon character there, but you may see something even better.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions at

Hello. My name is Mrs. Leslie Barnhill. I have been the Planetarium Facilitator since the fall of 2015. You have no idea how much I enjoy seeing all of the students of Mesquite ISD. In the coming year, we hope to expand by hosting more Star Parties and opening our doors to groups outside of MISD. With that said, I am still learning the technology of this position and creating as many shows that all visitors will enjoy.
This is the first entry of this 'blog' and once school is back in session, I hope to update it weekly with cool news about the Planetarium and space.
I'm looking forward to the 2016-2017 school year!
If there is anything you want to see included in this blog, click here to email Mrs. Barnhill!