Homeschooling

A Trip to the Planetarium + A List of Local Planetariums in SE Michigan

Last Wednesday, we attended the second session of the 2017 fall planetarium series at the Vollbrecht Planetarium in Southfield, MI. The planetarium is adjacent to Adler Elementary, which is important to know as I couldn’t find it initially. If you haven’t been before and plan to go, you’re welcome. 😉 While the place is small, the vibe is friendly and inviting.

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The first thing that caught our attention was the overhead dome showing pictures taken by the Hubble Telescope — even my two-year old oooh’d and ahhh’d. We saw black holes, the birth and death of stars, and distant galaxies. We were a tad early, so the boys got to chat with the presenters a bit, then it was show time.

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I couldn’t take any images while the show was going on since it was dark and all, but you can see many of the images we saw here. The topic was The Life of the Universe and centered around the questions: Did the Universe have a beginning? If so, will it have an ending?

The show was only 90-minutes, which my oldest son (age 9) and myself could’ve easily sat through — the information, videos, and pictures were fascinating — my five and two-year old… not so much. I had my doubts before purchasing the tickets. I figured I’d chance it since it was likely that my sons would enjoy it. Friends… we made it through about my hour and baby girl was done. So, we had to leave. Womp.

In any event, seeing evidence of new planets and how stars are made, and, again, seeing pictures from the Hubble Telescope made the trip worth it. Not sure if we’ll be able to make it again, but here’s the schedule for the rest of 2017 if you’re interested.  Future shows occur Wednesdays from now through November 1st, and will begin again in January 2018. You’ll need to purchase your tickets in advance at the Southfield Parks & Recreation Information Desk. I recommend these sessions for children 10 and older, but, of course, use your discretion for your little ones.

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Visiting this planetarium makes us want to visit other ones in our area. Below is a list of local planetariums you also may want to visit.

Acheson Planetarium at Cranbrook Institute of Technology — Bloomfield Hills, MI

Dassault Systèmes Planetarium at the Michigan Science Center — Detroit, MI

Wayne State University Planetarium — Detroit, MI

Hammond Planetarium at Henry Ford College — Dearborn, MI

List of all Michigan planetariums

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