Area planetariums are worth a look


Projected on the planetarium ceiling is Leo, the constellation, with drawing of Leo the Lion to show the form. (SUSAN BIDDLE/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
February 27, 2012
Ways to explore the night sky

Check the schedules at these planetariums for coming programs. Always ask a parent or grown-up before going online.

Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium: 5200 Glover Road NW. Free. There are planetarium shows for kids on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. and on weekends at 1 and 4 p.m. www.nps.gov/rocr/planyourvisit/ planetarium.htm.  

Howard B. Owens Science Center: 9601 Greenbelt Road, Lanham. $5 adults, $3 students, seniors and teachers. This is the largest planetarium in Maryland. There will be a program called “Fancy Nancy Stellar Star Gazer” and a tour of the night sky on Friday and March 9 at 7:30 p.m. www1.pgcps.org/howardbowens.  

Montgomery College Planetarium: At Takoma and Fenton streets, Takoma Park. Free. Check out “Star Stories” on May 5 at 7 p.m. Evening programs on clear nights include a star party, where participants go outdoors to view the sky through telescopes. www.mc.cc.md.us/Departments/planet.  

Albert Einstein Planetarium: Inside the National Air and Space Museum, Sixth Street and Independence Avenue SW. Some programs are free, and others have a fee. www.nasm.si.edu/visit/theaters/ planetarium.  

David M. Brown Planetarium: This popular, 40-year-old planetarium in Arlington is closed for renovation but will reopen in September. 

A project for a clear night: Ranger Scott Einberger of Rock Creek Park’s planetarium suggests that while looking at the stars, play connect the dots. Mentally draw lines between stars to form pictures, then develop a story about the image you’ve created. 

Some Web fun: This is a cool interactive Web site that lets users customize the night sky to any location. www.neave.com/
planetarium.

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