29 August 2007

Planetaria Open to Public

Like many Cincinnati children, I was very fond of the Planetarium at the old Natural History Museum on Gilbert Avenue. I had assumed they were a thing of the past, and that I would never set foot in one again. Fortunately, I was wrong.

This past summer the Cincinnati Park Board reopened a very small planetarium (it maybe seats 20) in Burnet Woods, at the Trailside Nature Center. Our family attended a short program, and the kids enjoyed it a lot. This setting is very appropriate for little kids because the naturalist is very casual, and talks directly to and interacts with the audience.
[where: Brookline Dr & Burnet Woods Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45220]

Then, yesterday I read that Northern Kentucky University, has just completed construction of a state-of-the-art laser projection planetarium. This planetarium will be open to the public every Monday at noon (beginning Sept 27), and it can be reserved for school classes or groups. It seats 61. I haven't attended yet, but it seems more appropriate for older kids, as the programs are computerized and explore science questions.

...Northern Kentucky University's campus has joined the list of seven institutions worldwide to boast a laser projection planetarium, and the first ever installed on an educational campus.

NKU unveiled Aug. 27 its plans to open the new Carol Anne and Ralph V. Haile Jr./US Bank Foundation Digital Planetarium, which is set to open to the campus community Sept. 17, 2007, at noon.

Tours will be available the opening week every day at noon and that Saturday at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. After that, tours will be available with tickets each Monday at noon. Tickets are free and will be available throughout campus at undetermined locations at the time of print.

The planetarium, which is being funded by a $2.7 million federal grant and private funds from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./US Bank Foundation, has a 16 megapixel resolution, uses three six watt lasers, and takes 18 computers to run, according to a press release from the university.

"We expect this facility and its programs to create a 'wow' factor, instilling in students a lifelong passion for discovery and exploration," President James Votruba said in the release. "We've come a long way since chalkboards and classroom movie projectors."

Dan Spence, coordinator of the planetarium, said it has been a dream of his for nearly 20 years. Spence taught astronomy courses and labs at NKU while serving as the Cincinnati Planetarium director from 1977 to 1985...

[where: 7 Kenton Dr., Highland Heights, KY 41099]

Apparently there is also a planetarium in Norwood High School.

Also: this site has a list of all the planetaria in Ohio!

1 comment:

Steve Carter-Novotni said...

I forgot how much I enjoyed the old planetarium.

Thanks!