Here we answer some frequently asked questions about the Ott Planetarium, the WSU Public Observatory and the Keith Terry Palen Research Observatory.
Q: How is the planetarium different from the observatory ?
A: The planetarium is the simulated sky; this has the advantage that weather and time of day don't matter! In a 30-foot dome, we can project both the sky and immersive films about various science topics. The planetarium is located on the second floor of Lind Lecture Hall; the round building just Northwest of Stewart Stadium on the Ogden campus of Weber State University.
The observatory is the real sky; while this means we are sometimes disappointed by weather, nothing compares to actually being outside under the stars with a nice telescope! The observatory is located at the south end of the fourth floor of Tracy Hall on the Ogden campus of Weber State University.
Q: Can I host a private wedding show ?
A: Weddings are complicated in the planetarium, because the front of the room is crowded with furniture and technology that we use for teaching. Other events are more feasible, like marriage proposals (Yes! We've had some!), birthday parties, family events and so on. Food and drink are not permitted in the planetarium (it's dark, and there's carpet), but many groups have cake at a nearby park, or on the hill outside Lind Lecture Hall, and then come in for the show. Alternatively, it's common for groups to see a planetarium show and then head over to Wildcat Lanes for bowling and cake.
Q: How much does the show cost ?
A: You can rent the planetarium (including the star show and a person to run the whole thing) for $60 for one hour. We requirea minimum reservation of 1 hour. After that, the rate is for 15-minute increments (15 min is $15.) The planetarium seats 60 people, so this could cost as low as $1 per person! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Other offerings include:
K-12 field trips: school groups should contact email@example.com for more information and scheduling availability.
Each month, we offer badge programs for Boy Scouts (Cub Scout and Girl Scout programs on demand). Please see the Scouting page on our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Each month, the Ogden Astronomical Society meets in the planetarium on a Thursday evening. This is free to all interested members of the community; joining the society is encouraged for all astronomy fans! See the calendar tab to find out when the next meeting will occur.
The planetarium and observatory are occasionally open to the public for free: once per month in the summer, on a Saturday. During the school year, we are open for special events. See the calendar tab to find out more.
Q: Is the planetarium open during holidays/breaks/summer ?
A: Yes, by reservation especially. Free events for the public during these times are listed under the calendar tab.