There’s a new planetarium in town, and the Christa McAuliffe Space Center belongs to Alpine School District. Many people from Utah Valley remember attending field trips at Central Elementary. Fighting off an alien attack became a right of passage for fifth and sixth graders!
Now, through some generous donations, a brand new building has been built with state of the art equipment and an amazing interface. Families can participate in those same space simulations that students have enjoyed, and there is an amazing dome planetarium.
We visited the dome planetarium for a quick tour of the solar system. As you lean back in the comfy chairs, the sky is projected overhead. We chose the Beginner’s Guide to the Galaxy show, which is 50 minutes long, and we highly recommend it for families. It is interactive meaning your star guide is talking to you as she shows different places in space. She’ll answer your questions, too. We had quick flybys of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Neptune. There was a really cool segment on the Sun, too. Then we saw the birth of a star and several other phenomena like globular clusters, constellations, and black holes.
Our guide was really knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. At the end she saved some time for us to explore. The dome is so amazing that it took us to all the places we requested like Pluto, Uranus, and Ceres. We even had a quick look at Europa.
There are 5 different shows to choose from and they run on weekday evenings and Saturdays. Visit their website for the most current information on tickets and showtimes. Space Missions, Field Trips, and Space Camps will all be available in the future as Covid regulations allow. We are excited to try a space mission as a family.
The Christa McAuliffe Space Center is a great addition to Utah. We’ve visited several other planetariums, and the technology and capabilities of this one surpassed even the largest of them. As true night sky lovers, we will find ourselves back at the space center pretty often!