Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium

We had a great -- and highly anticipated -- visit to the Planetarium in Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane at the weekend.

Highly anticipated because we'd planned to go there for ages. The first weekend we were the most determined to go, but they were closed for a two week revamp, then Kai was sick, then we had to pack boxes, move house, unpack boxes...But finally, we managed to go. And we really enjoyed ourselves.
Slade has been learning about the solar system at school this term so it was of huge interest to him. And being eight he's able to walk around, reading the information on the displays and understand a fair amount. We watched one show, which was very suitable for kids. It shown in a dome-shaped theatre, and you watch the show on the roof, so that's a novelty. There are shows specifically for children, and then others that are longer and are not for children under six. They do warn that if you leave the theatre, you are not able to return so it's wise to choose appropriate shows.
There is a cost for the shows, but entrance to the planetarium itself is free.
For a bit of history, the planetarium, which is Queensland's first, was opened in 1978, and named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, a Governor of New South Wales in the 1820s. Australia's first significant observatory was established by Sir Thomas Brisbane, who was responsible for the first extensive mapping of the southern sky. His observations led to a list of 7,385 stars.
The planetarium is situated in the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, which has a restaurant, and wonderful facilities for walks and picnics so it's possible to combine your visit to the Planetarium with a picnic in the garden or lunch at the restaurant.

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