When I became the director of Clark Planetarium in 2001, the “you’re kidding me!” news was that there have been discovered as many planets orbiting stars other than our Sun as there are planets in our own solar system. As 2011 begins, the number of these “exoplanets” discovered by astronomers exceeds 500. That breathtaking acceleration in the rate of discovery is happening in all areas of the space sciences, and we are thrilled to be sharing these advancements with our visitors.
In just the last year we’ve seen the discovery of water on the moon, viewed enormous ice geysers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, seen a spacecraft retrieve a small piece of an asteroid and return it safely to Earth, and dozens of other science news stories that would have seemed like science fiction not long ago.
What will we be saying about the universe at the end of 2011? I guarantee you that there will be surprises.
Public science literacy is critical to our economic survival and to our ability to thrive in the complexities of the 21st Century. Our job here at Clark Planetarium is to give the public the best possible understanding of important space science news, and to help our audiences develop a lifelong appreciation for the astonishing science that’s happening all around us every day. As we work to better educate the students in our communities about space science, we have enjoyed overwhelming support from many Utah teachers, students and businesses. Please click here to view our 2010 annual report that reviews the impact of our programs and highlights the businesses that help make this possible.
Thank you for the support you gave Clark Planetarium in 2010, and let’s see what awaits us in 2011!