The Planetarium has been one of OMSI’s most well-loved experiences since the museum’s opening. It’s a place to witness the awesome power of a black hole or to immerse yourself in a surreal Pink Floyd laser show.
But it’s fallen far behind the latest technology and we need your help to bring us up to speed.
The roof is leaking. The seats are sagging. And the projector – the very tool that fuels a planetarium’s ability to transport you to the edge of the solar system — is on the verge of technological irrelevance.
The last time our planetarium’s system was updated, the iPhone didn’t exist. Today’s technology allows for 3-D, real-time graphics, custom views into the cosmos, and live data displays from NASA for the most immersive space science experience you can imagine. When the upgrades are complete, OMSI will boast the most cutting-edge planetarium in the Pacific Northwest.
Funds raised from this campaign will be used to support the refurbishment of the planetarium and a new projection system by January 2018. This includes new carpeting, comfortable theater seating, and a new projections system. OMSI is a 501c3 non-profit. We do not receive metro or state funding and rely primarily on ticket sales and individual donations to stay open. That’s why we’re asking for your help!
Here you can buy tickets and swag for the once-in-a-lifetime Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, and help us upgrade Oregon’s beloved planetarium while you do it. After all, it’s YOUR space.
OMSI is hosting a viewing party at the State Fairgrounds in Salem, and while tickets have been sold out for months, you can find them here exclusively.
Salem will be in the path of totality, unlike Portland, and the town will be in full darkness for nearly two minutes starting at 10:18 a.m. Stars will come out, the horizon will glow with a 360-degree sunset, and day will turn into night. While much of the state will be scrambling to view the TOTAL solar eclipse, you can be among the first in the world to see this amazing celestial show. You can find out more information about this viewing party at their website here.
Salem will be in the eclipse's path of totality.
All available Eclipse Merchandise is exclusive, original, and custom-ordered for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. The full Merchandise Bundle comes with a mug, t-shirt (in the Men’s style), patch, and eclipse viewing glasses.
How will you remember the eclipse without this nifty t-shirt?
Director of Space Science Education
Jim Todd has worked in space science education at OMSI for nearly 33 years. Additionally, Jim manages OMSI’s Kendall Planetarium, which means wearing many hats: programming in astronomy and space exploration, teacher training in astronomy and space education, and coordinating OMSI hosting of star parties in conjunction with local amateur astronomy groups. Typically, nearly 200+ people attend a star party, with the largest attendance being for the annual Perseid Meteor Star Party each August. Just recently he became a part-time Instructor for PCC Sylvania teaching Astronomy Education.
Development Project Specialist
Dan Schlegel joined OMSI’s development team nearly two years ago. He enjoys telling the OMSI story of reaching over one million people per year with hands-on science education. Many Oregonians only know of the main campus in Portland, but OMSI offers outdoor science camps at Camp Gray in Newport, OR and Camp Hancock near the John Day Fossil Beds in eastern Oregon, and Dan thinks that’s pretty awesome.
Ginny Wong, Meng Vue, and Daniel Smith
Space Science Educators
The Space Science Educators have presented countless hours of laser and astronomy shows, hosted public star parties and other astronomy-related events for visitors of all ages. Each Educator has the rare ability to make astronomy fun and engaging, which sets a great example of promoting OMSI as a center of excellence! Their cheerful personas and welcoming attitude make people feel comfortable and ready to explore astronomy. Their passion for the planetarium, OMSI, and space science learning are infectious.