Fernbank Science Center’s Planetarium
If you have not been to Fernbank Science Center in a while, head over to see the newly-renovated Planetarium. If you have never been there before, this center is a must-do!
The planetarium recently upgraded its laser projection abilities to a 4K resolution system (from a 2K system) to keep in line with the current standards for planetariums. The improvements also included the addition of an excellent surround sound system and newly-upholstered seats.
My girls, 5-year-old twins and a 9-year-old, loved the planetarium show, The Star of Bethlehem that was playing when we visited. Prior to the start of the show, the staff planetary geologist takes a few minutes to show the audience the current night sky over Atlanta, and points out what people are seeing. The show lasted around 40 minutes, but was so interesting that I could have stayed longer.
The planetary geologist, R. Scott Harris, told me afterward that the staff has been able to adapt all prior shows to the new higher resolution format. The higher resolution and laser projection greater enhance the features in the sky. Because of this, I have never seen the clouds of a faraway galaxy so vividly in a planetarium show! One of my twins told me, “We got to see a twin constellation!”
Shows in March include: The Sky Tonight, a guided tour through the constellations, planets and events of the night sky; SolarQuest, which explores how the Sun and Earth are interconnected and how space weather affects Earth; Perfect Little Planet, which follows a family from another star system as they search our solar system for a perfect vacation spot, and OneWorld, One Sky, in which Big Bird, Elmo and a friend from China, Hu Hu Zhu, learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun and the Moon. After the show, don’t miss the Exhibit Hall full of live snakes and frogs and the unmanned Apollo 6 Command Module on display.
What Kids Like: The higher resolution system gives the planetary geologist the ability to zoom all over the night sky, which allows kids to see different views. The audience is encouraged to participate and ask questions.
What Parents Like: Low-cost, but extremely educational, trip. It is a perfect place to visit on a sunny or rainy day.
– Cindy Moss
Fernbank Science Center
156 Heaton Park Dr., Atlanta
fernbank.edu; 678- 874-7102
Admission: Planetarium: Adults, $7; ages 3-18, $5; 2 and younger, free; Exhibit Hall and Observatory, free. Free parking.
Hours: Planetarium shows: Thurs. 7 and 8 p.m.; Fri. 3, 7 and 8 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m., noon, 2 and 3 p.m.; closed Sun. Exhibit Hall: Mon.-Wed. noon-5 p.m.; Thurs. and Fri., noon-9 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Sun. Observatory: Thurs. and Fri. 9-10:30 p.m.