Thursday, May 1, 2008

Get Lost In Space at the Clark Planetarium

For years, Utah had a wonderful place to go to learn about the universe- Hansen Planetarium. I can't count the number of school field trips, star shows and laser shows I attended there. When the decision was made to close the Hansen Planetarium and move it to the Gateway shopping center, I was a little upset. It was like a good friend moved away. But, when the new Clark Planetarium opened, it was like a new, really cool friend had just moved in and made you forget the old one.

The Clark Planetarium has everything that made the Hansen Planetarium great and then they added even more great exhibits and an IMAX movie screen.

Walk on the moon in the Moonscape exhibit or go even further, take ten steps, and explore the Martian surface in the Marsscape exhibit. You can see the collection of different types of meteorites and even pick one up and feel how heavy it is. Watch Foucault's pendulum swing and knock down a marker every few minutes, proving that the earth in spinning in space (it's complicated to explain, but fun to watch). Check out the giant suspended display of the solar system or watch the balls rolling through Newton's Daydream, a two-story audio-kinetic sculpture. Want to try to be a weatherman on the evening news? Step on over into the KUTV Channel 2 weather station and forecast the weather. Don't worry, you don't have to be accurate- the weathermen aren't either.

All these exhibits and more are free to all visitors to the planetarium. You can spend a couple of hours having fun and never spend a dime. If you want to see a star show or laser rock music show or see a movie on the giant IMAX theater screen, try going before 5:00 p.m. when all shows are only $6.00.

Clark Planetarium will fascinate both kids and adults (I watched Newton's Daydream for an hour).

Place: Clark Planetarium
Location: 110 South 400 West (in The Gateway Mall), Salt Lake City, UT
Phone: 801.456.STAR (7827)
Hours: Opens 7 days a week at 10:30 a.m., Closes: Mon.-Wed. at 8:00 p.m., Thu. at 9:00 p.m., Fri. and Sat. at 11:00 p.m. and Sun. at 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free, for exhibits. $6 to $8 for shows.

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Distance from:
Salt Lake City (downtown): 1.3 miles
Ogden: 36.4 miles
Provo: 43.8 miles
Logan: 81.1 miles

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