Out of This World

Perhaps there is something to be said about teenagers and thinking they are the center of the Universe. My two big guys, while physically they were present on our most recent expedition, their phones held more interest than the cosmos. How they can insist that “space” ins’t interesting, I will never understand. I am in awe of everything that we know about our place in the universe and how we got to know and understand it, and I’m – to be perfectly open – saddened by what I will never get a chance to know. I have felt this way since the first time I laid perfectly flat on the ground for hours on end to either feel the Earth moving or to see how many stars I could view in the night sky. To me, space is the great, wonderful unknown. An entity that forces us to question our personal understanding of place and value. An opportunity to gain a perspective that, in fact, we are not the center of everything and possibly merely a product of a very long and lucky sequence of events.

Yesterday we stepped out to the Clark Planetarium in downtown Salt Lake City. It is a great little place. Entrance is free and all the exhibits are free, which is so completely fantastic. Having open access to this type of exploration is priceless. Think of all the imaginations that can be sparked or the number of people that decide that they have to be a part of this journey into discovery. Just imagine… But I digress.

They have two theatres, an IMAX and the Hansen Dome Theatre. Passes for movies were included in our city pass, which is stellar because I never would have spent the money to see the movies if we were paying individually. For the four of us to see two movies it would have been $62. While the movies and the experience of the dome theatre is excellent, I wouldn’t say – for our budget – that they are $62 excellent. However, I am glad that we saw them. The movie times are staggered between the two theatres but not so you can bounce from one directly into the other. Worked out perfectly though. See one movie when you first get there, explore most of the exhibits, see the second movie, and then finish off the exhibits and head on out.

We watched The Last Reef in 3D at the IMAX and Extreme Planets in the dome theatre. Both were very well done. The film viewed in the dome is visually stunning and having such a large display immerses you in the film even more so than a 3D, in my opinion. I would love to nerd out and see all the movies they offer at the dome.

The dome theatre made Little and I a bit sick at times – caused by the contradictory messages being sent to the brain. Visually you think you’re moving, but physically you don’t feel the sensation of movement. For us, closing our eyes or focusing on one image helped completely.

No pictures from the theatres, obviously, but here are a few of the exhibits. I just loved the Moon and Mars stage sets. In person they look like a little play area, but I think the photos came out great.

Display of Jupiter – Mercury in relation to the size of our sun.

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Little on the Moon.
Little on Mars.