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A Brisbane experience that's out of this world

I finally got around to taking my boys on an adventure that was slightly different to our usual jaunts around Brisbane' in fact you could say it was out of this world!

The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium is as close as you can get to space without leaving earth. Nestled in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, it's a truly amazing day out that will leave you and the kids awestruck with the majesty of the universe.

We started our intergalactic journey in the Display Zone in the Planetarium's foyer, checking out some fascinating space artefacts including images from the Hubble Telescope and a life-size replica of Neil Armstrong's lunar space-suit. My older two boys were particularly impressed with some asteroid fragments and couldn't believe they were looking at something that had actually come from outer space!

But the main attraction, the real "star" of the show, is of course the Planetarium's Cosmic Skydome.

In 2013 the Planetarium underwent a major upgrade and replaced the original Zeiss Projector, installed in 1978, with Australia's first high-resolution, digital full-dome planetarium system.

The new optical star projector creates a stunningly realistic night sky on the 12.5 meter dome above you, bringing constellations to life before your very eyes. All you need to do is lay back in your specially designed reclining seat and take in the show!

Planetarium Shows
One of the best things about the Planetarium is the variety of shows you can see on any given day. The shows are between 45 - 50 minutes long and are recommended for kids from six years and up - mainly because they will need to be able to sit quietly for the duration of the show.
Little space fans won't miss out though, as the Planetarium has a kids program of three shows specifically designed to appeal to the under sixes.

Cosmic Collisions
On our visit we chose to see the "Cosmic Collisions" show and we were not disappointed. Over the course of the 30 minute presentation the whole family sat absolutely transfixed as we learnt how collisions in space have impacted not just earth but on solar system and the galaxy itself.

Highlights for us were discovering that the moon was created from the debris of let over after a massive object collided with earth 4.5 billion years ago, and that a similar collision (this time with an asteroid) had caused the dinosaurs to become extinct.

The show also included a tour of the Brisbane night sky, presented by one of the Planetarium astronomers. This was a fantastic way to end the show because it brought the focus back to things we could see from our backyard.

The Planetarium is popular so we'd recommend you book online.

Rachel is the editor of Brisbane lifestyle blog, Our Town Brisbane. When she isn't writing she can found dragging her three boys, aged 11, ten and six, around her local farmers markets or attempting to sneak out for dinner with her husband, The Chef.

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