The Beauty and Poetry of the Heavens

Mark Breen. Photo provided.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Mark Breen, Planetarium Director and Senior Meteorologist of the Fairbanks Museum, will present the next OLLI-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program ‘The Beauty and Poetry of the Heavens: The Ancient Teachings of Aratus’ on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Nolin Murray Center next to St. Mary’s Church on Pleasant St. in Springfield.

Astronomy has inspired and informed almost every type of expression you can imagine, from visual arts, to music, and the written word, to say nothing of the range of sciences and mathematics. Each creates a way to appreciate the universe from an infinite number of viewpoints. An early, example of this is found in Phaenomena, by the Greek poet Aratus, written about 280 BCE. Breen provided the commentary and context for a newly minted edition of the ancient text, designed, illustrated, and printed by his friend Claire Van Vliet. Breen will use the illustrations and excerpts from this new book to guide you through the heavens in the very same way Aratus did over 2 millennia ago.

Breen, a dynamic and informative speaker, is a popular presenter and this will be his 11th yearly appearance for the Springfield OLLI group.

This is the final program of the fall semester. The spring semester begins on Feb. 28. In January, the program listing will appear on the Springfield OLLI website

Sponsored by the University of Vermont, OLLI is run by local volunteer members and is geared mainly towards seniors who are 50 years of age and over who enjoy learning for the fun of it! Anyone who would be interested in this type of program, regardless of their age, is welcome. The programs are held Tuesday afternoons at 2 pm and last about an hour and a half.

Pre-registration is highly recommended. However, if you arrive without having registered, we will not turn you away. We will hand you a form and an addressed envelope to send in payment after the program.

Non-members are welcome and encouraged to attend individual programs for a single program fee.

Registration can be done online at this website with a credit card. You may also register over the phone, using your credit card by calling 1-802-656-5817 during regular office hours Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

If you prefer to register by mail, send your contact information (name, address, phone number, and email address) indicating full series membership or which specific program(s) you wish to attend. Mail this information and your check (made out to University of Vermont-OLLI) to: OLLI at UVM, 460 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05405. If mailing in the registration, please allow 10-14 days from the date of mailing check to receipt & processing.

Due to the current situation of COVID-19, the University of Vermont expects all participants at UVM sponsored non-credit events (including OLLI), will be vaccinated. Masks are optional and welcomed. For full health & safety information, go to the website.

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