Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tellus Science Museum Passes 100,000 Planetarium Visitors in First Year

/PRNewswire/ -- Tellus Science Museum's digital planetarium surpassed 100,000 visitors on Monday, Dec. 14, 2010, capping off an incredible first year for the museum.

"For a planetarium our size, we are seeing three times the normal attendance of most planetariums attached to science museums," said Tellus Astronomy Program Manager David Dundee.

The Tellus planetarium seats 120 visitors and offers four different shows running multiple times throughout each day. The shows are an immersive experience, with topics ranging from the history of space travel, the sun, an animated children's show, and a very popular Christmas show running through the Holidays.

"Our audiences have really been amazed by the universe we can unveil with our digital planetarium," Dundee said. "Our Christmas shows end frequently with standing ovations from our audiences."

The 100,000th visitor was Bret Jones, 7, who came to the museum with his mom and grandparents.

"I was shocked," said Charles Watterson, Bret's grandfather. "I didn't expect this. We drove by the museum on the way to our daughter's house and wanted to come back."

The planetarium is only one part of the Tellus experience. The museum boasts four galleries: Weinman Mineral Gallery, Fossil Gallery, Science in Motion and Collins Family My Big Backyard. Tellus has seen more than 188,000 visitors in its first year of operation.

"I am thrilled that the planetarium has proven to be such a popular venue at Tellus," said museum director, Jose Santamaria. "Every other person who visits the museum also takes in a planetarium show."

New shows premiere in the planetarium every few months, assuring that visitors who think they have seen it all at Tellus have only scratched the surface of what the museum has to offer.

"Often we will see the same families returning over and over for all of our new programs. We have many visitors who come monthly to the planetarium to see our Live Sky tour programs. Some visitors will even go to two or three different shows in one museum visit," Dundee said. "It really is gratifying to have such a positive reaction from our patrons."

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