Planetarium celebrates 20 years of service to the community

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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ7)— One hometown planetarium is celebrating 20 years of service to the community.

In October of 1999, the Radford University Planetarium started offering free shows to the public. It was later remodeled and upgraded in 2016, and now resides in the Center for the Sciences building.

The venue has become a big part of the university and community at large and offers a unique learning opportunity especially for kids.

“When you get inside the planetarium, the nice thing about the educational value, especially with the younger kids is that they are immersed in space,” said Rhett Herman, the director of the planetarium. “To be able to bring anything from space down to Earth is absolutely fascinating for people.”

The original planetarium was built in the 70’s as an analog system. Herman said when he started at the university, he loved using the equipment and started holding events.

Herman said the original planetarium had over 40,000 visitors. The new planetarium has seen nearly 20,000 visitors with over 800 shows.

You can find a full listing of shows here: https://www.radford.edu/content/csat/home/ru-planetarium/about-shows.html.

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