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ST. GEORGE — A fascination with space has been around since the Egyptians crafted celestial objects in hieroglyphics and the constellations were depicted in globes created by the Greeks, setting the stage for the modern-day planetarium.
Today, there are 3,000 planetariums at universities, museums and science centers across the U.S. and in over 100 countries worldwide. These facilities are traditionally constructed with a hemispheric domed ceiling that serves as a screen on which images of stars, planets and other celestial objects are projected.
If Rick Connor has his way, Southern Utah will be home to planetarium No. 3,001.
Connor is spearheading a project to build a planetarium in St. George, an idea that is gaining momentum and continues to garner a great deal of support and interest from people throughout Washington County.
Conner said the idea came to him in 2018 when he decided that he wanted to give back to the community and asked himself, “Is there anything we don’t currently have here in Southern Utah?”
That’s when he said he realized he wanted to provide a facility wherein a theater projecting images of the starry sky would both inspire and educate people of all ages, bringing a real sense of space exploration down to Earth and into the hands of the community and visitors.