Scroll Archive (Scott Austin, Scroll Archive)

Planetarium show is “seaing” the stars

The BYU-Idaho Planetarium, located in the George S. Romney building, is introducing a new show this June, Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure.

Stephen McNeil, the director of the planetarium said, the planetarium shows a different show every month on Thursdays. This show will explore the life a young prehistoric marine reptile named Dollie, or Dolichorhynchops, as she competes for survival in the late crustaceous age.

“She gets born and then it goes through her life as she gets older and older and the things she has to encounter in that competitive age to survive,” McNeil said.

he show will teach about the monsters that ruled this age and explores the life of the reptiles and the journey of finding their remains, according to the planetarium’s website.

“As she goes through her life they introduce different marine reptiles and follow different paleontologists,” McNeil said. “It cuts back and forth from the story and these paleontologists finding the bones of different dinosaurs and marine reptiles.”

McNeil said Dollie’s story wasn’t over until paleontologists found her bones.

“It shows the paleontologists finding her bones and then talking about her life,” McNeil said.

McNeil said that most of the planetarium’s shows teach about astronomy but that he was on the lookout for something else.

“I thought it was something different and unique,” McNeil said. I think that maybe the geology students might enjoy this one.”

McNeil said the show itself has been adapted to fit the dome of the planetarium.

“It’s an Imax show that we’ve adapted to fit the dome. In the dome the best seats are on the opposite side of where the planetarium operator is sitting,” McNeil said.

McNeil said they have begun hiring the students as planetarium operators as popularity grows and they have begun doing more and more shows. In May alone, 78 shows were given.

“Tickets are sold at the door by the ticket office so its first come first serve and we only seat about 40 people. So we tend to sell out 10 to 15 minutes before the show,” McNeil said.

Giselle Burkey, a senior studying integrated studio arts, said that you should buy your tickets half an hour early.

“I feel like it’s growing in popularity this year compared to other years because you actually have to go a little early to get tickets,” Burkey said. Sometimes they’ll do a second show if you’re lucky.”

Burkey said the new show will be just as popular as the others.

“It’s a little different,” Burkey said. “I think it’s still relevant because we still are on a planet and it’s about creatures on that planet. It’s just not out in space, it’s closer to home.”

Burkey frequents the planetarium and enjoys spending her Thursday nights under the stars.

“My goal this year was to go every month. It’s just something fun you do on Thursday nights,” Burkey said.

Burkey’s favorite show was Extreme Planets. A show that explored what could be on planets that are out there.

“They talked about planets that are full of water or just really really hot so they’re burning all the time,” Burkey said. “They had one that was really cool that had volcanoes that spew diamonds.”

Burkey said this new show will hold just as much interest for students.

“Go see the planetarium,” Burkey said. “It’s awesome. It’s educational and fun.”

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