Letter to the Editor: OSU should build a planetarium

Last spring term I took Dr. Lazzati’s outstanding astronomy course. We learned an astonishing amount about the origins of the universe, our solar system and deep space objects. We learned how to measure astronomical distance and looked at some of the most amazing solar objects in the sky. I would encourage everyone to take an astronomy course. In the lab portion of the course, we had an opportunity to visit the telescope on the roof of Weinger Hall to see the stars.  Unfortunately, every night of spring term clouds obscured the sky and we were never able to observe the stars.

Last summer my friends and I got together to watch the total solar eclipse. We got to talking about our experience in our astronomy class and wondered how we could improve our ability to view the night sky. We started thinking it would be great if OSU had a planetarium for the astronomy course to view the night sky during class time. Currently OSU is a world-class science institution without a planetarium.

Spitz Planetariums can install a state-of-the-art, turnkey, 200 seat planetarium at OSU for $1.1 million.  The computer system and projection system can display crystal clear astronomy, earth science, marine science and oceanography programs.  Besides supporting the OSU astronomy classes, the planetarium could also be used to teach children in the nearby school districts and encourage young scientists that may someday return to OSU to study science.

Rick Wilson

Corvallis, Ore.

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