Day trip: Roswell planetarium offers array of shows

Courtesy of Roswell Museum and Art Center The Roswell Museum and Art Center is home to the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium.

Clarence Plank

Place: Robert H. Goddard Planetarium

Location: The planetarium is located at 100 West 11th St., Roswell, and is 114 miles or a two-hour drive from the base.

What kind of activities can someone enjoy here? The planetarium offers laser light shows, “ViewSpace” a weekly NASA television program which feeds new images from the Hubble telescope, a monthly science fiction and educational film series, monthly Family Science Nights, monthly Science Saturday programs (a short planetarium film or star show followed by an activity such as a craft or science project), space camp, rocket camp, science camp, birthday parties or other private function rentals.

What ages is the facility best suited for? For all ages. The laser shows are for ages 8 and up. Monthly public films are for ages 13 and up. Camps are for kindergarten-aged and up. Science Saturday and Family Science Nights are for third grades and up.

What are the admission prices? The planetarium events are all free with the exception of a private event or a special feature film or light show, which cost $2 per person. Special shows can run from $2 to $5 per person.

The laser shows are only offered around the fourth of July. I usually offer them a few days before the holiday shows so that local people don’t have to compete with the UFO crowds. Laser shows are $5 per person. Specific show information can generally be found on website www.margb.com. It’s usually on the front page. Dates for the coming year (August through June) are not yet posted, but will be as soon as I get through the UFO Festival. Science Saturday and Family Science Nights (Tuesday) meet once a month. Everyone is welcome;the Saturday shows vary from children’s shows to adult. The public shows are Thursday evenings (once a month) and are generally dvd series of interest to adults, rather
than being child oriented. In January, the Fractal Foundation brings their show from Albuquerque, and other events show up unexpectedly from time to time, such as the NASA traveling exhibit that visited last year. During the school year I spend much of my time in the local classrooms, but am happy to schedule a weekend show if a group would
like to come. The cost for something like that would be $2 per person. All the money raised are used to provide materials and activities for the planetarium programs.

What are the hours of operation? Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for ViewSpace and one evening per month for a planetarium film in addition to the Family Science Night and Science Saturday programs.

Are there any special events coming up? The annual UFO Festival is bringing the planetarium to life with science projects, films, and laser shows from 10:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. July 1 through July 4. These are all considered special events and admission ranges from $2 to $5.

Who can someone contact if they want more information? Reserve a group tour date, contact Marge Bentley at 624-6744, ext. 23 or by e-mail at mbentley@risd.k12.nm. or mbentley@risd.k12.nm.us

For the planetarium showline call 624-6744, ext. 26.

For general questions, call the museum’s administrative office at 624-6744, ext. 0 or visit www.roswellmuseum.org