The Barlow Planetarium celebrates Black History Month! Discover how astronomy played a pivotal role in guiding escaped slaves to freedom in the North. Encoding escape instructions and a descriptive map into the lyrics of song, escaped slaves were able to find their way north from Mobile, Alabama to the Ohio River and to freedom. The drinking gourd,” the ladle made from a hollowed out gourd, represented the most famous and recognizable asterism in the sky: The Big Dipper. The Big Dipper points to the Polaris, also known as the North Star, which would guide the slaves to the North. Each show concludes with a tour of the current nighttime sky – stars, constellations and planets – as seen from the Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin.