Planetariums and Astronomy

Clark Planetarium

Many great Utah vacations begin in Salt Lake City thanks to dozens of direct flights to Salt Lake City International Airport and regional connectivity through intersecting interstates. Explorations in science and astronomy also begin in Salt Lake, thanks to the innovative and family-friendly Clark Planetarium, a hub for Utah astronomy. The Planetarium will engage your family in the science of outer space, just in time for visits to stunning Utah landscapes removed from the city lights where you can apply your knowledge to the brilliantly shining stars above.
In addition to more than a dozen free interactive space-themed exhibits showcasing ATK's NASA Space Launch System, the Solar System, the Moon, Meteorites, Black Holes, Eclipses, Mars and the International Space Station, this high-tech planetarium in Utah continues to add innovative displays, including their latest exhibit, Science on a Sphere, which creates intriguing global displays using multiple video sequences projected onto a six foot diameter sphere.  The Clark Planetarium also houses an IMAX® Theatre, a Digital Dome Theatre and one of Utah's largest science stores, making it a destination for the whole family.

Observatories and Public Star Parties

The astronomy attractions don’t stop there — the University of Utah’s Willard L. Eccles Observatory is usually open to the public at least one night per week, and the Salt Lake Astronomical Society also hosts public star parties at the Stansbury Park Observatory Complex and other locations across the valley that are family-friendly. View their event calendar

Dark Skies and Astronomy Programs

After familiarizing yourself with the universe at Clark Planetarium, head out to Utah's scenic places away from the lights of the city and see the expanse of the Milky Way for yourself. After the sun sets on Utah's alpine mountains or red rock, the visual splendor continues in the form of star-filled night skies. The International Dark Sky Association has recognized several of Utah's parks for their minimal to zero light pollution. Check park schedules for fascinating Utah astronomy programs led by park rangers and discover all of Utah's certified International Dark Sky Parks here.

Dark Sky Articles

Capturing the Milky Way: Kodachrome Basin by Night

by Rosie G. Serago

Head out on a night sky photo shoot with amateur photographer Prajit Ravindran and see why Utah’s Kodachrome Basin State Park deserves the Kodak film-inspired title.

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The World's First Dark Sky Park

by Contributor: RootsRated

On March 6, 2007, Natural Bridges National Monument became the first International Dark Sky Park certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. More than 100,000 people visit Natural Bridges each year to check out the stunning bridges and hike in cool canyons, but only a handful of them stay through the night to see the area’s most amazing and unique feature: dark skies and glistening, bright stars.

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Looking Up: Dark Skies of Heber Valley

by Kristen Pope

Shielded from big city light pollution, the Heber Valley contains a trio of state parks seeking International Dark Sky Park certification with nighttime programming to connect visitors with all things nocturnal. Astrotourists come from all around to catch a glimpse of the valley’s stunning night sky.

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