Bechtel National Planetarium -- the official name of Columbia Basin College's panoramic viewing dome -- has been open to the public since late 2012 and is definitely worth a visit!

The Spitz SciDome XD projector shoots images on the 36-foot panoramic dome simulating a 3-D effect. It's the most advanced projector of its kind in the Pacific Northwest!

A typical, hour-long show is only $6 for adults, $3 for kids and free for children 5 and under. Seniors 60 and over are only $5. Double features are sold for slightly more.

The typical show includes a 20-30 minute live presentation about the solar system or constellations and a 25-30 minute movie. The movies cover such topics as "Bad Astronomy," black holes, human cells, the "Dynamic Earth," the solar system, ocean reef, "The Life of Trees," stars, "Secrets of the Sun," pharaohs of Egypt, telescopes and weather.

The planetarium is different from the observatory, which is open Friday nights 8-10 p.m.

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