BCC planetarium sets tour of solar system

Bellevue Community College’s Willard Geer Planetarium will take viewers on a tour of the solar system during three public star shows on Friday, Sept. 19.

Beginning at 6, 7 and 8 p.m., the 40-minute presentations will showcase BCC’s new Digistar 3 computerized projector, the most sophisticated among all planetariums in the Northwest and only the fourth with such advanced capabilities to be installed in planetariums of this size worldwide.

Prepaid reservations are required and are available online at (search their site for “planetarium”) or by phone at (206) 325-6500. Reservations are $3.25 per person, including the processing fee.

The star shows will also feature a brief lecture by a BCC instructor about the stars, constellations and planets in the sky that night over King County.

Because the planetarium must be totally dark during the show, no one will be admitted once the presentation begins.

The show is not recommended for children age 5 or younger.

Bellevue Community College’s Willard Geer Planetarium was the first to be built in the Puget Sound region and, thanks to donors to the Bellevue Community College Foundation, is one of the few worldwide using an advanced digital system to project and move images.

The dome-ceilinged facility was the brainchild of Willard Geer, BCC’s first physics instructor and one of the inventors of color television.

Today, the 60-seat planetarium is in almost constant use as a classroom for 1,400 BCC astronomy students and a popular field-trip destination for 1,600 middle school students each year.

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