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UTA Planetarium offers movie theater alternative

By Skyler Schrader

Tired of the high priced movie theaters? Try the next best thing: the University of Texas at Arlington Planetarium. 

The 60-foot diameter dome can project stars, planets and galaxies with surround sound both for public showings and classes at the University.

Lauren Rangel, a senior business student at UTA, took an astronomy class and was able to visit the Planetarium on multiple occasions throughout the two semesters she was enrolled in the course.

“They did a really great job at making it very real and relatable to the night sky,” said Rangel. 

In addition to bringing the night sky closer to Earth, the Planetarium offers different shows on a rotating basis. The current selections, showing through May 26, are titled “Astronaut,” “Cosmic Colors,” “Pink Floyd,” “Mayan Prophecies,” and “Spacepark 360.”

Visit the Planetarium show schedule for descriptions and times.

Running Thursday through Sunday, the shows cost $6 for adults, $4 for non-UTA students, UTA faculty/staff, UTA alumni, senior citizens, and children aged 3-17. UTA students receive an additional discount. Children under the age of 3 are free.

The Planetarium seats about 150 people and is wheelchair accessible. The venue often hosts private events, from children’s birthday parties to romantic dinners under the stars, and is a frequent stop on school field trips.

“Throughout the years that I have been a student at UTA, I have noticed many schools that come here to enjoy the shows offered at the planetarium,” said Rangel.

The University’s first planetarium opened in 1975. When a new $43 million building was constructed in 2006 to accommodate new laboratories for the physics and chemistry departments, it included a larger, more up-to-date planetarium.

If you can’t make it to the Planetarium itself, the Planetarium’s website offers tools to learn about astronomy, including a planetary weight and age calculator.